Bhubaneswar, Jan 11:
About 1200 private nursing homes and clinical establishments are running illegally in Odisha thanks to the gross apathy and indifference of the health department and the district administration.
A study by the OST revealed that out of nearly 1500 private nursing homes and other clinical establishments operating in the state, as many as 1200 have been running without any valid registration.
The state government had made a mandatory provision for registration of all private nursing homes, maternity homes, clinical laboratories and physical therapy units under the Odisha Clinical Establishment (Control and Regulation) Act.
As per the procedure, a private clinic is registered after its credentials are verified by empowered committee of the state health department. The concerned clinic is also provided with a certificate for a specific duration after which it has to apply for renewal of its certificate to the respective Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO).
A three-member task force committee has been formed at the district level in which the district collector is the chairman while the Superintendent of Police and the CDMO are the two other members.
The committee is supposed to meet at regular intervals and verify the registration of the private clinics and renew their certificates. It also recommends the state government for registration of new clinics after verifying their credentials.
Though the Act clearly states that no private health clinic would be allowed to operate if they do not have the valid registration certificates, a majority of these clinics have been operating illegally without registration in gross violation of the Act.
As per the information from the official website of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET), not a single private clinic in Gajapati, Boudh, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts has valid registration certificate.
Leave alone the interior districts, such instances have also been found in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
Out of a total of 170 private clinics in Bhubaneswar, 128 are presently running with valid registration certificate while in Cuttack, 195 out of 288 registered clinics have no valid registration.
When contacted, Director, DMET Dr Sonamali Bag said the district health officials are in charge of registration of private health clinics.
The district administration is empowered to take action against the private clinics if they are found to be running without valid licence, Dr Bag said.
About renewal of registration certificate, Dr Bag said the DMET is empowered to renew the registration certificates on the basis of the recommendations from the district level officials.
“If there is no recommendation, the Directorate has nothing to do about it” Dr Bag pointed out.