New Act to Make Minimal Standards Mandatory for Every Health Care Provider

22 April 2011: According to Clinical Establishments Act, every healthcare provider, right from single doctor to tertiary hospitals needs to have minimal standards in infrastructure. The National Accreditation Board for Healthcare Providers (NABH) in association with Union Ministry of Health is busy formulating the list of minimal standards, which will be out in three months. The Act will come in to force after these standards are out.

The center has taken this initiation keeping in view the patient safety. According to the official reports, developed countries have nearly one lakh of preventable deaths of which 50% are due to medication errors. It is said that one in every 10 patients are affected due to the errors in medication in developed countries. But the probability of patients being affected in developing countries would be 20 times more than the above number. Another factor that is affecting the patients safety is Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI), which is 5 – 25% in developed countries and more than 40% in developing countries.

This Act is at present enforced only in three union territories and the Delhi state. If this Act is implemented in the whole nation about 1 lakh pathological laboratories present across the country will have to get accreditation.

As an example that NABH is very sincerely promoting best practices in healthcare sector, 83 hospitals are already accredited and 500 were awaiting accreditations. The process of accreditation is not only based on the assurance of patients’ safety through minimal infrastructure but also through the evidences for the same. The board has aimed at reaching an immediate target of providing accreditation to about 2000 major hospitals with more than 100 beds.

Source: The Hindu