Uniform law for registration of hospitals on cards

Chennai, March 28 | Updated: Mar 29 2005, 05:30am hrs
Private hospitals and diagnostic laboratories in the country will have to adhere to national norms and standards to be set by the Union government. As a first step the Union health ministry is working on a legislation that would mandate their registration with the state government authorities.

Attempts to this effect had been made since 1998 and five states Tamil Nadu, Goa, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have laws requiring registration, though the implementation had not been proper, Union health minister R Anbumani said here on Monday.

All private hospitals and diagnostic centres in the country will have to register with the government, so that uniformity could be brought about in health care services. After registration the government will go for enforcing their accreditation, he said.

The minister said the district collectors or district medical officers would be the registering authorities. This aspect will be decided in consultation with various medical associations, Dr Anbumani said. The process may take two years, he added.

He said there would be two types of accreditation. One would be general. Allopathic hospitals and health centres under Indian systems of medicines linked to health tourism would have to follow stringent conditions and norms for accreditation. To begin with, the government was planning to approve 50 hospitals of modern medicine and 25 of Indian medicines as health tourism projects.

Dr Anbumani said the US market was a very promising one for traditional medicines. Over 25% of medicinal import of that country was plant-based. The government was gradually bringing into effect the implementation of good manufacturing practices (GMP) for the preparation of Indian medicines in tune with the world standards.

The government was also planning to set up medicinal plant processing zones to modernise cultivation and extraction of herbal medicines on commercial scales.

The global trade in herbal medicines is now around $1 billion. In a few decades it would be $1 trillion. India has only 2% share in this trade compared to the 60% China is having. India has very good chances to increase its share in the world trade in herbal medicines, he said.