Every private medical practitioner will have to obtain a license for his or her ‘single doctor establishment’ from the state health department, which is headed by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The state health department has recently prepared a draft for the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Rule, 2012, in order to keep a watch on the functions of medical practitioners in their individual establishments across West Bengal. The draft will be discussed in the state cabinet meeting before it is passed in the state legislative assembly.
A single doctor establishment is a medical clinic with just one registered medical practitioner, who is the owner of the clinic. Only dental practitioners have been left out of the equation.
According to the rules of the draft, every private practitioner will have to produce documents, such as academic and professional qualifications; registration certificated issued by the West Bengal Medical Council; and a written undertaking declaring that he or she will follow the provisions of bio-medical wasted management & handling rules before the clinical establishment cell at Swasthya Bhaban, while seeking a license for single doctor establishments or chambers.
Licenses will be issued to the applicants if the clinical establishment cell is satisfied with the documents. Licenses will be issued for a maximum of five years.
“Several thousands of private practitioners conduct medical practice in their individual chambers across the state. But, we don’t have official record on how many doctors practice in single doctor establishments or chambers,” said a senior official at the clinical establishment cell.
“The rules will be mandatory for all medical practitioners who practice individually in such chambers. The new rules will help the government prevent quack practice, which is rampant in the districts,” said the official.
“The government doesn’t have official records on doctors with individual chambers. The proposed rules will regulate the system,” said Dr Santanu Sen, state secretary of the Indian Medical Association.
Draft rules also pro-pose that each single doctor establishment should have adequate space for an examination room as well as sitting arrangements for both doctors and patients, and access to toilet facilities and availability of drinking water.
Also, doctors will have to generate and maintain records, as per the Medical Council of India Act, and records related to medico legal cases in the chamber, as well as any other records or registers required.
The name of the establishment and the doctor’s name and license number, the system of medicine practice and the specialty must also be displayed as per the draft rules.