BENGALURU: A practice that was removed from the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME) Act last year after private medical establishments were up in arms — of obtaining trade licence for operationalising — still exists, courtesy a circular from the Urban Development Department (UDD) last week.
The circular was sent after Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) conveyed to the department that they had no control over the hospitals if they failed to report diseases to BBMP’s Public Health Information and Epidemiological Cell, which made monitoring of diseases like H1N1, Dengue and Chikungunya difficult.
Dr Madan S Gaekwad, President, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said, “Last year, before the KPME Act amendments were made, we requested the Chief Minister that a trade licence should not be mandatory to register under the Act. Accordingly, that rule was struck down.”
But the trade licence rule for healthcare establishments remained in the sections of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act.
“We want that to be struck down as well and met the Deputy Chief Minister recently in this regard and the Urban Development Minister U T Khader too, but now this circular was sent, which is self-contradictory as even now, we have been renewing our licence with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike every year,” Gaekwad said.
Every year, hospitals have to get a trade licence from the BBMP on payment of `2,500-`3,000 depending on its size. Along with this, hospitals are required to get a NOC from the pollution control board.
Dr Manoranjan Hegde, Chief Health Officer (Public Health), said, “Hospitals don’t send data on diseases to us. Now, if they don’t, we can say we won’t renew their licence.”
T Venkatesh, Head of Public Health Information and Epidemiological Cell, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, said, “Hospitals have to send us data on 18-20 conditions like H1N1, dengue, chikungunya, malaria, cholera, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and tuberculosis among others. Out of 900 hospitals, only 506-510 hospitals send data.”