NEW DELHI: For the first time the Centre has drafted rules specifying the basic standards of infrastructure, services, safety and facilities that patients can expect upon visiting doctors, polyclinics, dentists, physiotherapists, nursing homes, medical colleges and big hospitals. The norms, which will be incorporated in the Clinical Establishment Act, 2010, through an amendment will also be applicable to diagnostic laboratories and AYUSH clinics.
The 785-page document that has been put out for public feedback before it’s finally notified, said even single doctor clinic's should have an attendant for patients and the doctor’s consultation fee should be displayed.
The proposed norms, by the medical services division of the Health Ministry, also specify emergency medicines and equipment that must be available for every speciality at all clinical establishments, including small and single doctor clinics.
The rules also suggest the minimum required area of consultation chambers and operation theatres. The proposed rules also said that patients must have adequate relevant information about the nature, cause of illness, proposed investigations and care, expected results of treatment, possible complications and expected costs.“This is a significant step by the government because without these rules the act did not have any meaning,” said Sunil Nandraj, ex-advisor to the Health Ministry who was part of the panel that drafted the norms two years back.