Suresh Shetty, the state health minister, says that apprehensions about the Clinical Establishment Act are unfounded and explains how the rules will be of benefit to patients.
What is the main purpose of the Clinical Establishment Act, (Registration and Regulation) Rules?
There are so many bogus doctors in the state. This is because there is no system of registration. There is no system to check if a person starting a dispensary even has formal medical education. Unless an untoward incident takes place, there is no way to find out whether a doctor in a given place is qualified or not. As a health minister, I do not know the exact number of nursing homes and clinics in the state. Also, once the CE Act is in place, the doctors will have to notify infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and swine flu to the government. This will only benefit the patients.
Which healthcare establishments will be covered under the Rules?
The CS Act will cover the entire gamut of healthcare, from single doctor dispensaries to health clubs. It will also include ayurveda massage centres, cosmetic clinics and weight reducing centres. These centres dispense drugs, or claim to cure illnesses such as arthritis. We need to register them and keep an eye on them.
Doctors are objecting to various clauses in the CA Act Rules? Do you think all establishments can comply with the mandates, such as stabilising a patient during an emergency?
We plan to have a meeting with them before we set out to pass the rules in the assembly. Doctors have a problem with providing emergency health care. I think patients are not so ignorant that they will take an accident patient to a skin specialist. I think their fears are unfounded. At the same time, there is no denying that if a patient gets timely treatment at the first point of contact, chances of survival are higher.