Drive against unlicensed medical facilities

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On the first day of the second wave of crackdowns on unlicensed hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers, 92 such establishments were sealed off. After the first round of campaigning in May-June, health facilities that did not take advantage of the nearly three-month grace period to get new licenses issued and expired licenses renewed, are the targets of this crackdown. For the first time, the authorities gave the impression that they were serious. During the first round of the campaign, 1,641 illegally run health centers were closed. On the other hand, the government issued licenses to 1,489 and renewed the licenses of 2,930 health establishments. However, the Directorate of Health, as admitted by an additional Director General at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), has yet to gather information to prepare an authentic list of unlicensed or illegal healthcare providers in the country. .

This is an indication that the healthcare system is far from streamlined. There are ubiquitous facilities operating in every country, providing substandard and sometimes erroneous diagnosis and treatment, which the DGHS is unable to discipline. The reason behind this, as quoted, is its labor shortage. However, what is less known are the irregularities that have been allowed to accumulate over the years and decades and also the involvement of some of the DGHS employees and officials in the malfeasance. The country has made remarkable progress in building its health system. Now, the excuse that the DGHS cannot monitor medical malpractice nationwide should no longer be accepted. The money spent on various lesser heads and the unearned income of some of his staff (eg a driver who has amassed fabulous wealth) show that funds should not be lacking for such recruitments. In addition, illegal clinics, hospitals and diagnostic centers are mainly concentrated in big cities and other urban centers. Thus, if the goal is serious, the proliferation of bogus and unlicensed health facilities can be curbed.

If past experiences are any guide, doctors posing as doctors have often perfected the art of medical marketing and a few of them have been caught up in their criminal act. But wonder of wonders, after their short prison term, they came out to run illegal health facilities again as before. It certainly calls for tougher sentences with longer jail terms. But in the first place, if the DGHS has several mobile surveillance teams to regularly monitor these establishments, this illegal health trade can be nipped in the bud.

This time, the DGHS initiative looks promising, but there is no guarantee that it will hold unless the reach and reach of this campaign is expanded. One thing is clear: making money is the goal of most private healthcare delivery initiatives. The quality of health care is hardly a concern. This is because unqualified doctors provide medical services to which they are not entitled. Medical facilities should not be allowed to operate unless DGHS is satisfied with the personnel and equipment required. Here, the integrity of the licensing authority should be unquestionable and, if possible, the criteria should be verified by an independent medical board constituted for this purpose.

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