Docs oppose state bid to fix charges

Doctors in the private sector are up in arms against the state government’s move to adopt the centre’s Clinical Establishment Act 2010, or to enact a law along similar lines which gives it more control over the administration of private hospitals and also allows it to fix charges for various clinical services, including surgeries, besides grading them.

“We are not against the law as such, but it should be more democratic and representative,”said Dr R.V. Ashokan, president of the IMA Hospital Board which has asked the state government to keep the central legislation in abeyance.

The objection of the IMA was mainly to the DMOs becoming the registration authority for issuing licence and also the government prescribing the fees for services.

“It (the Act) almost amounts to nationlisation of private hospitals”, said a memorandum submitted by the IMA Hospital Board to law minister K.M. Mani.

Dr Junaid Rehman, DMO, Ernakulam, who was a member of the committee appointed by the government to study the issue, said that the panel recommended that conditions like the government fixing charges was impractical.

“We suggested that the hospitals display a board showing the charges. Some of the concerns raised by the doctors have been addressed by the panel. But the ball is in the government’s court now”, said Dr Rehman.

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