Response of Campaign for Dignified and Affordable Healthcare to the Delhi Government’s Draft Advisory 

Tuesday, 29 May, 2018

The Campaign for Dignified and Affordable Healthcare is a forum of patients and families, civil society groups and health experts that advocates for strengthening regulation of the private healthcare sector and for reforms to ensure ethical, respectful treatment of patients.

We welcome the proposed measures to lower the costs of treatment and bring more transparency and accountability to private healthcare services in the NCT. Indeed they are progressive in intent and signal a paradigmatic shift in governmental thinking.

But we are afraid, the measures need further careful consideration and legal vetting to ensure they do not get stuck in courts. This kind of reform requires a statutory mandate, which could come through substantial modifications to the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act 1953, the Act under which these measures are sought to be brought into force. Failing that, an entirely new Act would be required in order to accommodate the measures proposed. In the absence of such legal cover, we are afraid the Delhi government’s good intentions will be of little or no avail.

But because of the evident difficulty that the Delhi Government has in passing legislation due to the Centre’s drive to frustrate any initiative of the state government, it appears to have had no choice other than to go through a route which is unlikely to succeed.

The proposals have some merit but we do not see high prospects of them succeeding. Nonetheless, we are hopeful that there will be engagement with consumer and patient groups through a consultative process and look forward to participating.

It is unfortunate that a state government that is interested in acting to the benefit of patients is forced to intervene in an ineffective manner, even while the Centre refuses to take any meaningful steps towards regulating private hospitals or lowering the prices of medicines and consumables.

For further information, contact:

Malini Aisola, 7838381185 ; Jayant Singh, ‭8860157770

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