The state-owned Private Health Services Regulatory Council is cracking down on unregistered private medical centres to regulate and streamline private health services.
According to the provisions of the Private Medical Institutions (Registration) Act No21of 2006, it is mandatory to register all the private centres with the Council, a senior Health Ministry official told the Sunday Times FT. He added that operating a private institution without a Council certificate is a violation and subject to two years rigorous imprisonment or a fine. The Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition this week urged the public to ascertain the registration status before obtaining any type of medical services.
There are around 4,000 registered private medical institutions and a large number unregistered centres operating country wide which the Council is yet to identify. Officials say there are nearly 210 private hospitals having about 8000 beds and serving 10-15% of indoor patients. There are many General Practices (both full time and part time) Medical Centres, Channelling Centres, Medical Laboratories, Medical Clinics, Medical Training Institutions, Ambulance Services and Home Care Nursing Companies etc. in the private sector.
The law also empowers the regulation of charges, information flow, categorization of institutions and handling of clinical waste of these centres.
Duty waivers are given to registration institutions for medical machinery and medical equipment to provide patient care services and for the importation of ambulances under duty concessionary basis.