THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The government, which has proposed to table the Kerala Clinical Establishment Bill, for reining in private hospitals and medical laboratories, before the Assembly for many sessions, has once again failed to place it in the present session.
For the last four years after the UDF came to power, the government has now and then been stating just ahead of the Assembly session that the Bill will be introduced. But after each session, the government makes a statement that the Bill would be introduced in the next session. In the last Assembly session also, Health Minister V S Sivakumar had stated that the Bill would be introduced in the successive session. Instead of introducing the Bill, the Minister in reply to a question in the present session said the Bill was under the active consideration of the government.
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With the Bill, the government could pull up all the labs functioning without proper licences. As the Bill has been submitted to the Assembly, it is for the Business Advisory Committee to decide when to place the Bill before the House. Once published by the Assembly secretariat, the Bill is the property of the Assembly.
Despite efforts to contact Health Minister Sivakumar, he was not available for comment. He had earlier opined that there were no impediments for the Bill to be placed in the Assembly.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary K Elangovan said the Bill has been sent to the legislature secretariat long time back. “A lot of complaints have come up regarding quality parameters of labs. Unless there is an Act, we cannot act against them,” he said.
It is alleged that there is a purposeful delay in introducing the Bill and much pressure from many quarters, especially private hospital and laboratory managements.