Patna: The Bihar Branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Friday said it will organise a protest rally against the enforcement of Clinical Establishments Act in its present form. Dr S S Agarwal, national president, IMA, is expected to lead the procession which will start at 11 am on Saturday from IMA Building, Patna.

Speaking to India Medical Times, Dr Harihar Dikshit, secretary, IMA Bihar, said, “There was a notice in newspapers on 12th April which said that the government as well as private hospitals and clinics must get themselves registered under the Clinical Establishments Act before 15th May 2016, else actions will be taken against the defaulters.”

Dr Dikshit said, “We have already appealed to the government for the amendment and our case is in the Patna High Court. The next hearing is on 3rd May 2016. Unless the high court takes some decision or an amendment is done we will face problems.”

He also said that some doctors in Patna who have registered their clinics under the Act and were under probationary registration of one year were asked to provide some details and when they failed to provide it they got notice saying that legal actions will be taken against them.

“But as per the Act, during probation registration can be dismissed on different grounds; since they are not even registered how can be they threatened of any other legal action. The maximum that can be done is that the concerned authorities will ask the clinic to go for registration again,” added Dr Dikshit.

He further said, “Since there are many different clauses in the Act and certain clauses are not practically possible for every clinic to obey then it’s totally in the hands of the bureaucrat. They can even demand huge money to give us the clearance certificates.”

Dr Arun Shah, a paediatrician based in Muzaffarpur, told IMT, “This Act should be implemented in corporate hospitals as these hospitals are opened mostly for the business purpose, their main motive is to filch money from people. Their standard of service must be watched by the government but not all clinics and hospitals.”

“This Act will only strengthen the bureaucrats as they can come and blackmail the hospital or clinic at any point in the name of the Act. The government should first improve their hospitals’ conditions and then enforce the law in private hospitals,” added Dr Shah.

Dr Sushil Kumar, honorary secretary, IMA Darbhanga, told IMT, “We have got huge support from doctors and clinics across the state and the city as almost every doctor thinks that this Act needs amendment, we think that its clauses are not practical. Almost 150 doctors from our city (Darbhanga) will be attending the Rally on 30th April.”

Dr Hari Damodar Singh, assistant professor of anaesthesia, Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital and Healthcare industry, Laheriasarai, Darbhanga, told IMT, “I will be attending the Rally. The government has adopted this Act as the same from the Centre. This Act is for the registration of clinics and hospitals not doctors. Before implementing this Act, the government should have checked its local socio-economy standards. All the corporate hospitals and small private clinics come under this Act, which is practically not acceptable, they both have got different standards and even different class of patients visit them.”

“Some one who is from a small family background can not afford Class I treatment in a corporate hospital and similarly some body who is running a small hospital can not fulfil all the conditions that has been mentioned in the Act.

How can you expect a small clinic to have washable mattresses for patients and if they will put that they will charge it in the patient’s treatment, which again will be problematic for the patients. The Act is good for big corporate hospitals and not for all the clinics of all the parts of the country,” added Dr Singh.