The Kerala Assembly on Thursday passed the Clinical Establishment Bill. It gives the state government the authority to monitor, assess and regulate health centres, clinical establishments such as laboratories through proper accreditation and certification. The bill is also aimed at ensuring that these establishments do not charge exorbitant prices for services and hire trained staff.
A state council headed by the health secretary will serve as the regulatory body under the bill to monitor registration, accreditation and prices. The government will also set up district-level monitoring committees and classify clinical establishments under various categories based on the facilities they provide.
The bill exempts from registration clinics that provide only consultation services, prescriptions and observation of patients. Earlier, there were demands to exempt hospitals with 10 to 20 bills from being registered under the state council.
The Clinical Establishment Bill makes it mandatory for each facility to openly display their existing rates in both Malayalam and English, which will allow patients to choose between hospitals.
As the government fast-tracked the bill, Health Minister KK Shylaja told the Assembly they will frame all rules and regulations related to the legislation soon, according to The Hindu. She added that monitoring private facilities under the bill will improve the quality of healthcare services.
The Act is likely to come into effect in Kerala by June.