Hyderabad: Doctors have objected to the implementation of the Central Clinical Establishment Act which has been approved by the Telangana Government. They want the existing act in state to be implemented strictly.
Dr Narsing Reddy, the president of the Indian Medical Association of Telangana, says, “The State Clinical Establishment Act has been present from 2007. When there is an existing act why does the government require another one? The state act was drafted in consultation with all the stakeholders, but the central act is different. It has clauses that we do not agree with.”
The IMA believes that the existence of two acts will cause confusion at the ground level. It also believes that not all clinics, hospitals, pathological laboratories and nursing homes follow the existing rules.
Records at the District Medical and Health Office of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy indicate that the number of medical outlets registered in the two districts are 600 and 300 respectively. These numbers are far below the actual number of outlets that exist, which are around 1,800 and 1,000 respectively.
Since not all medical outlets are registered, and proper follow up is not carried out by government officers, there isn’t adequately accurate data regarding the prevalence of various infectious and seasonal diseases; and the World Health Organisation insists on the maintenance of these records.
The existing Integrated Disease Surveillance Program requires the collection of data pertaining to different types of fevers including malaria, dengue, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, measles, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, cholera, and jaundice. At present, data is collected from government hospitals and only 15 accredited super speciality hospitals.
A senior officer says, “For most of the numbers we are dependent on media communication and WhatsApp groups. But it has to be verified properly, as it is often misleading.” Doctors at private hospitals say that they are ready to share data, but there isn’t a user-friendly data collection system in place. In some instances, private setups do not have personnel trained in the collection, maintenance and sharing of data.
While there are rules in place, ineffective implementation is the crux of the problem. A senior officer of the state Health Department, on condition of anonymity, says, “District Health Officers and small private setups have been unable to follow the existing act. DMHO officers do not carry out regular checks, and private hospitals have failed to renew their registrations. Due to this, the collection of data, prevalence of diseases, hospital rate-cards, and issues regarding patient care are not being monitored effectively. We are trying to do away with these flaws in the central act.”