BHUBANESWAR: With private hospitals, clinics and patholabs resorting to cease work on Friday, the State Government on Thursday instructed all Government health institutions to remain ready to meet exigencies and ensure that patients do not suffer.
Source said 1,780 private clinics and diagnostic centres across the State are expected to remain closed from 6 am as part of 24-hour strike called in protest against the rules framed under the Clinical Establishment (Control and Regulation) Act. They are apprehensive of not getting renewals of their establishments for failing to comply with fire safety norms.
Secretary of All Odisha Private Medical Establishment Forum (AOPMEF) Dr Indramani Jena said though the outpatient department (OPD) will remain shut, treatment of admitted patients will continue during the strike.
The forum alleged that the Act is a hindrance in way of registration and renewal of registration of clinical establishments. The Fire Safety Rules need to be made applicable to new Clinical Establishments and the process should be simplified for existing establishments. “We had appraised the Government about it and demanded to segregate the establishments as per bed strength besides relaxing the norms. How can the rules be same for a diagnostic centre and a 100-bed hospital?” asked Jena.
The AOPMEF members said though several establishments have applied for renewal and deposited fees since 2014, they are yet to get the certificate. Though the Health Minister had assured to look into it, no step has been taken as is evident in the new rules notified recently, they claimed.
“Odisha Clinical Establishment Act primarily framed to ensure quality and safe medical care for the people has strangely excluded public hospitals from its ambit. Private clinical establishments are backbone of the health care system in the State. The diagnostic centres, which do not treat patients, should not be treated at par with hospitals,” Jena demanded.
Meanwhile, all the Government health institutions including State-run medical college and hospitals have been instructed to be in readiness to meet the emergencies arising due to the strike.
“The public health centres have been asked to ensure that patients do not suffer because of the strike. We are ready to tackle the situation,” said Director (Health Services) Dr Braja Kishore Brahma.