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Why is Maharashtra dragging feet on central act on hospitals, asks HC

The Bombay High Court today sought to know why the Maharashtra government was reluctant to implement a central Act that provides for regulation of nursing homes and hospitals.

A division bench of justices N H Patil and G S Kulkarni made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Pune resident Atul Bhosale.

The PIL raised the issue of “poor” condition of hospitals and nursing homes in Maharashtra and “pathetic” state of affairs of medical care in the state.

The petition maintained the Centre in 2010 enacted a legislation, the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, to provide for registration and regulation of all clinical facilities in the country.

“The Act prescribes the minimum standards of facilities and services to be provided by such establishments,” the petition said.

It claimed the Maharashtra government has not implemented the central act till date.

“Why is the government so reluctant to implement the provisions of this central act? Why are you (the government) succumbing to the pressures of the medical community,” Justice Patil asked.

The bench directed Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbkoni to appear in the matter on June 8.

The petition claims there are several nursing homes in the state which are running without obtaining registration as mandated under the Maharashtra Nursing Homes Registration Act.

“Non-registration of nursing homes and hospitals not only reflects poor implementation of the Act, but also indicates that there exists no machinery verify documents, infrastructure, qualification of medical staff and availability of medical equipment before establishment of a nursing home,” it said.

Regular inspection of healthcare facilities, as mandated under the Act, was also not carried out by the state government, the PIL claimed.

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