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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Strict rules for better hygiene

State Health Society, Bihar, is planning to prepare more comprehensive bid documents to invite private agencies for sanitation works at government hospitals.

According to sources, the agencies currently working in hospitals and medical colleges for providing cleanliness services work shoddily because tender notices are vague and do not lay down specific requirements.

Senior officials of the society said there was an urgent requirement to overhaul the cleanliness services at the health hubs. An official added that assistance of UK-based Department for International Development was being taken to make the bid documents more comprehensive and formulate a centralised policy to fix a minimum standard for the outsourced agencies.

“A rigorous assessment of the tender documents would be done before entering into an agreement with the private contractors this year,” a health society officer said.

As envisaged by National Rural Health Mission, the government started handing over hospital maintenance services to private players five years ago. The quality of these services, however, remained below average even though the annual expenditure incurred on these has swollen to a whopping Rs 175 crore. Of this, around Rs 95 crore is spent on cleaning the hospitals alone.

Sources in the health department said the quality of services was compromised when companies bidding with cheap rates bag the projects. Private agencies have bagged the cleaning project at the rate of 6 paise per square feet against the minimum fixed rate of 35 paise in various district hospitals.

Attendants of the patients visiting the public sector hospitals as well as doctors working there said the government has to do “something” to standardise the cleaning of the health centres.


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