Wednesday, 30 May 2018
AIDAN welcomes the recent proposals by the Delhi Government to reduce the cost of treatment in private hospitals in the NCT. This will be a boon to patients, especially poor patients, who find themselves seeking treatment in private hospitals in emergency situations. If these measures succeed, it can be a precursor for a whole lot of other radical changes needed in health services.
We would like to sound a note of caution on the legal instrument, namely the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Nursing Act 1953 sought to be used to pass these measures. It will most likely end up as a matter of legal dispute and impasse.
AIDAN would like to suggest that a better legal instrumentality would be the Clinical Establishments Act (CEA). Building on the positive provisions of the Central CEA Act and modifying it after considering also some state-level versions would be an important step that can be initiated towards standardization of quality and costs of care in Delhi, one that is also on firmer legal footing.
We once again welcome the positive move by the Delhi Government aimed at reducing exploitation of patients and families, especially of poor patients. The proposals on capping of margins for drugs and consumables, and proposal to fix rates of investigation in due course are good supplements in the private sector to the free medicine and diagnostic initiatives of the government, albeit which need further strengthening. We are hopeful that there will be constructive engagement with consumer and patient groups on these and future proposals to address the runaway costs of healthcare and abuse of patients’ rights also linked to commercialization of health services