High Court Mandates Hospital Fines for Rule Violations, Advocates Penalties; Ensures Accountability for Public Health

The Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee’s bench in the Mandal at Viramgam, Ahmedabad, is currently hearing a suo moto petition. In the ongoing proceedings, the court has directed the Principal Secretary of the Health Department to file an affidavit with more data regarding the Clinical Establishment Act. 

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi appeared before the court today. It was informed to him that the court had sought details such as why the council formed in the state under the Clinical Establishment Act? Why the District Registration Authority was constituted? And why certain categories were included under clinical establishments? Such particulars were requested during the hearing.

Implementation of Gujarat Clinical Establishment Registration and Regulation Rules 2024

Contrary to previous information, it has been clarified by the Advocate General that the formation of the State Council has not occurred. The Gujarat Clinical Establishment Registration and Regulation Rules 2024 have been established. According to these rules, every hospital or medical establishment must apply for registration along with a fee. 

The public notice for this purpose has been issued, and the registration process has commenced. Notably, there is no State Council; instead, the Health Minister chairs it. Furthermore, the Gujarat Medical Council and Gujarat Nursing Council’s members are involved. 

The District Registration Authority has been tasked with initiating the process. Registration will occur only after the hospital’s inspection. Different specialists’ hospitals will require compliance with different standards. For instance, a orthopedic hospital must have staff knowledgeable about orthopedic medical facilities.

Registration Without Statutory Standards Would Be Merely Formality

Registration Without Statutory Standards Would Be Merely Formality

The court has emphasized that the State Council, when established, will determine the statutory standards for the protection of patient rights. Until then, registration without statutory standards would be merely a formality. Once the statutory standards are determined, new regulations will need to be formulated. 

Moreover, it’s imperative to impose penalties and record offenses for those operating hospitals without registration. The Advocate General drew attention to the prevalence of in-home pharmacies and surgeries performed outside hospitals. 

He also highlighted that allopathic doctors perform surgeries without adequate experience. The Chief Justice, along with the other judges, recounted an anecdote where a doctor conducted surgeries at his home, intertwining medical procedures with social interactions.

Hospitals May Face Penalties for Violating Regulations

The Advocate General stated that separate regulations have been established for medical clinics, medical polyclinics, hospitals, consulting rooms, operation theaters, and other medical facilities. 

Inspection teams will assess facilities within hospitals, medical equipment, the qualifications of personnel working in hospitals, and address any complaints from patients or others. If a hospital violates these regulations, it may face penalties of up to ₹10,000 for the first offense and up to ₹50,000 for subsequent offenses.

Hefty Penalties for Violating Regulations

The court emphasized that those who violate regulations may face substantial fines. They must pay the penalty and continue running the hospital, ensuring the well-being of people’s lives. A fine of ₹10,000 may not be sufficient for them. Additionally, the government should also monitor the misuse of these regulations. 

If similar regulations exist in other states, the state government may adopt them. The Advocate General informed the court that only two or three states enforce clinical establishment acts. The court praised Gujarat’s medical services, stating that they are commendable and attract people from other states and even abroad for treatment. 

The court ordered that comprehensive regulations are necessary for clinical establishment registration and operation. Further deliberations on this matter will be held on July 15th.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.