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Steps to regulate functioning of private hospitals

By Roy Mathew

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, SEPT. 9. The Health Department is taking steps to regulate the functioning of private hospitals in the State, including billing.

Norms will be specified regarding infrastructure and other facilities to be maintained by the hospitals and the required staff on the basis of their bed strength.

Fee chargeable for various diagnostic and other services will be specified.

The hospitals will be required to follow specified protocols for treatment of various diseases. The Government has appointed an expert committee headed by the Director of Medical Education to propose the norms. The committee is expected to submit its report within a few months.

The department has also drawn up a new draft policy on procurement of medicines for Government hospitals against the background of widespread irregularities in the purchases. This will be published shortly.

One of the objectives of the policy will be to ensure transparency in procurements. Guidelines specified by the Central Vigilance Commission such as the acceptance of the lowest quotation will be adopted. Quality will be checked at the point of supply.

The proposed policy will be implemented from next year as purchase arrangements for this year have already been made.

School health scheme

The department will introduce a revamped health card scheme for school children as part of the 100-day action plan. This scheme will focus on maintaining the overall health of the pupil as a preventive measure. Problems like malnutrition and lack of potable drinking water will be addressed.

Doctors will visit the schools to monitor the health status of the pupils. Diseases such as rheumatic heart diseases will be detected at an early stage.

The department will draw up an integrated project involving other departments such as Social Welfare and Water Resources.

This project will address problems related to food, potable water, sanitation and health in an integrated manner. Hospitals in the coastal areas will be strengthened.

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