Assembly committee report exposes overcharging in hospitals, lack of beds for the poor, absence of hygiene & waste disposal, under-qualified technicians and flagrant violation of rules
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Nov 15: Finding glaring irregularities in most of the State hospitals, an Assembly committee has recommended setting up monitoring groups in districts to monitor proper implementation of the Assam Health Institution Act, 1993 and the 1995 Rules.
In a significant recommendation, the Assam Assembly Act Implementation Committee also suggested amendment of the existing Act to bring in a uniform fee structure for various medical tests in private hospitals.
In its report, the committee pointed out various irregularities and lapses on the part of private hospitals in the State, most of which were related to cleanliness and hygiene.
The patients' ward of Advanced Neurological Hospital in Guwahati was found to be congested, while the charges at the GNRC Hospital in the city's Super Market area were found to be so exorbitant that these were beyond the reach of BPL and general people, the committee's report in possession with The Sentinel stated.
There were cleanliness and hygiene issues at Dispur Hospital, Dispur Polyclinic, Aditya Diagnostics & Hospital (Dibrugarh), Brahmaputra Hospital (Dibrugarh), Kopili Hospital & Research Centre (gaon), Wintrobe Hospital (Guwahati) etc.
On the day of inspection, the committee found that the license of Dispur Hospital was not renewed.
Rehman Hospital in the city was pulled up for idequate infrastructure, while Nemcare Hospital was under the scanner for not having a proper bio-medical disposal magement system.
The Assembly committee also ordered an inquiry by the Health department after it found various lapses in Wintrobe Hospital in the city. The hospital authorities claimed before the committee that it had applied for renewal of the registration way back in 2012 but that wasn't processed till the day of inspection.
The committee was also peeved at a notice it saw at M/S Shristi Hospital in Dibrugarh, instructing patients to take discharge before 12 noon.
In its recommendations, the Assembly committee directed setting up of monitoring committees at the district level - comprising the DC, joint director (health), local MP, MLAs, representatives of civic bodies, pollution control board officials and two social workers - to ensure that hospitals follow the laid down rules and regulations.
It suggested that every hospital should have its own incinerator to dispose of bio-medical wastes.
The fee structures and mes of available medical officers should be displayed in hospitals for the convenience of the patients and attendants, it stated.
While there was no bed reserved for BPL patients, the committee directed that all hospitals should set aside at least two beds for such patients.
Observing that most of the hospitals were sending their bed-sheets, pillow covers and other hospital linen for cleaning to laundries, risking the spread of infection, the committee suggested that all hospitals should have in-house laundries for the purpose.
The committee also directed adequate drinking water facilities and fire safety measures in health institutions.
In some hospitals, the committee was shocked to discover that laboratory technicians and staff were under-qualified, which could lead to compilation of wrong tests reports.