Health facilities told to register with MoH by Feb first weekThe government has directed all non-government health facilities to register with the Ministry of Health (MoH) or its subordinate bodies by the first week of February.
The government has directed all non-government health facilities to register with the Ministry of Health (MoH) or its subordinate bodies by the first week of February.
Institutions will be shut down and the owners will have to face penalty, including jail terms, if they fail to report to the MoH by the set deadline.
A Cabinet meeting on Thursday decided to amend “Guidelines on Standards of Health Facility Establishment, Operation and Upgradation, 2014”, setting February first week as the deadline for such health facilities to come under the MoH.
Recently, during an inspection carried out by the MoH had shown that majority of the hospitals, clinics and other diagnostic centres were running without taking approval or without renewing their operating licenses.
According to the amended guidelines, the health facilities which have not been registered with government agencies will be shut down with immediate effect and will be liable to action.
The MoH is set to write to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the implementation of the guidelines and to initiate action against non-compliant health facilities either under black marketeering or fraudulence or any other laws based on the severity of the case.
“If the health facilities are already registered with other agencies such as the Department of Industry, then also they will have to be registered with the MoH. For this certain fees will be imposed before they are given approval to run these institutions,” said Bhogendra Dotel, spokesperson for the MoH.
Dotel said the provision is also applicable to those facilities that have already sought approval but are yet to renew their operating licenses. “If they fail to come under the MoH with a month, the facilities will be shut down,” said Dotel.
The Guidelines on Standards of Health Facility Establishment, Operation and Upgradation, 2014 has also set standards for hospitals (government and private); nursing homes; community hospitals; non-government hospitals; cooperative hospital; Ayurveda hospitals; diagnostic centres (laboratory and radiology services) and polyclinics that provide at least five OPD services, radiology services, laboratories, physiotherapy, family planning and immunisation among other services).
The MoH in November had sealed over 30 polyclinics and other health facilities after they were found to be operating illegally—without registering or without renewing their operating licenses.
“It is appalling that over 50 percent of such health facilities in every nook and corner of Kathmandu Valley and in urban centres outside the Valley are illegal,” said Health Minister Gagan Kumar Thapa. “This can have multiple effects.
First, the institutes are not accountable to anyone, and in case of any untoward incident, the victims will find it hard to get justice. Second, it hits on our data and evidence-based policy planning because they do not report to any institution. We can never find the exact disease burden and other health status of our population.”
Thapa said every year the MoH comes up with top 10 diseases and other ailments without incorporating the information from the institutes that are run illegally.