BHUBANESWAR: Private clinical establishments in the State will remain closed for one day on Tuesday in protest against the State Government's dilly-dallying attitude for registration of new units and renewal of old health facilities.
According to the All Odisha Private Medical Establishment Forum (AOPMEF), the health institutions will not treat any outdoor patients from 6 am on Tuesday to 6 am on Wednesday. The clinical laboratories will also join the protest and not go for any tests.
While the State has 1,777 clinical establishments, the registration of 1,551 units are yet to be renewed. Technically, these health institutions are running without registration and the forum has blamed the Government for this.
Forum's president Dr Ajoy Kumar Mishra said earlier Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) was the issuing authority, but now the Government has empowered the district Collectors for the same job. In most of the cases, renewal and registration are denied due to lack of fire safety certificate, he said.
Blaming the Government for imposing an old fire safety regulation on the clinical establishments, the forum members said it is difficult for the old health facilities to comply with the guideline of National Building Code of India (NBCI) as insisted by the fire officials for no objection certificate.
Forum vice-president Dr Jagannath Mohapatra said the Orissa Fire Services Act, 1993 is actually meant for the factories and boilers.
"Instead of formulating a special act for health institutions, the authorities have imposed the same act on us. A separate guideline for clinical establishments should be prepared on the lines of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra," he demanded.
In many cases, the establishments promoters are unnecessarily harassed due to delay in inspection by fire safety officials despite repeated reminders. Though the Health Minister and officials concerned were appraised earlier, no step has been taken to resolve the issues, they said.
The health institutions will, however, render services to the indoor patients and attend the emergency cases during the protest.
Forum's secretary Dr Indramani Jena and treasurer Dr Debadutta Sahoo also spoke.