Don’t be surprised if one tells you that the health department does not know the exact number of private medical centres operating in the state.
The delay in enforcing the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act (CEA), 2010, has meant that most privately run nursing homes, clinics and test centres are unmonitored, leaving lakhs at the mercy of the owners who are more interested in making money in the name of providing quality treatment.
Although the department woke up to the threat posed by these mushrooming entities and adopted the act in 2012, it has begun the process of implementing it only this year and the response is very poor.
According to online records, the state has only 1,159 allopathic medical establishments registered under CEA. The government does not have the cumulative figures of the ones that registered offline.
Except Dhanbad that has 458 registered medical establishments, including 282 private ones, all other districts are lagging behind.
Dhanbad is again the only district that has listed the names of all medical establishments on its official website with the status of their registration under CEA. In Ranchi, there are only 15 registered private medical institutions. Around 100 are in the process of obtaining provisional registration.
“We have written to all deputy commissioners and civil surgeons to ensure strict enforcement of the CEA. But the response has not been that great. Government hospitals are still better and the rate of registration is satisfactory. But we need to take stringent action against the private ones that are flouting the norms,” Sumant Mishra, state nodal officer for CEA, said.
According to Mishra, all districts need to establish a registering authority with the deputy commissioner as the chairman and civil surgeon as the member-secretary to implement CEA.
Citing reasons behind having the maximum number of registered medical establishments, civil surgeon of Dhanbad Arun Kumar said: “There are eight community health centres in the district. I have asked the medical officers-in-charge to prepare an exhaustive list of all private health centres and patho clinics/labs in their areas. With the lists in hand, it was easier for us to trace the registered and non-registered establishments.”
Capital Ranchi is in the process of registering government hospitals. “Some private medical centres are taking interest on their own and procuring provisional registrations,” civil surgeon D.K. Singh said.
Khunti district civil surgeon Vijay Nath Khanna admitted that the compliance rate was poor in his district. While all government health service centres (around 125) are registered, private clinics are much behind at three.
East Singhbhum has not begun the process at all. Civil surgeon Jagat Bhushan Prasad said they were waiting for guidelines from Ranchi to form the committee. “The process is expected to start next month,” he said.
Ram Kumar Sinha, deputy secretary, health department, said: “We need to chalk out a mechanism so that all private medical establishments follow the rules.”