Expressing concern over growing number of unregulated pathological labs and clinics, Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Friday urged the Delhi government to soon implement the 2012 law that provides for registration and regulation of all clinical establishments.
Replying to a private member’s bill seeking regulation of such labs, Nadda said in Rajya Sabha that the Clinical Establishment Act has been in place since 2012. "Except for Delhi, all other states have implemented it. …I request the Delhi government to implement the law at the earliest."
The private member bill ‘The Pathological Laboratories and Clinics (Regulation and Controle bill’ was moved by Vijay Jawaharlal Darda, which says proper regulation of these labs was the need of the hour as 72 per cent of a total of about one lakh labs and clinics in the country were being run in an unorganised manner.
Darda said his bill seeks setting up of a regulatory body and mandatory registration of all clinical establishments with minimum standards and qualification for running such labs and clinics.
"Pathological labs are involved in fraudulent practices. A racket is being run in such labs. We should come down heavily on clinics those run in an unprofessional way. I appeal to the government to implement this bill," Darda said.
Noting that concerns aired by the member were valid, Nadda said these issues have been addressed in the 2012 law and there was no need to have a separate bill.
The minister said the National Council for Clinical Establishments was put in place even at state and district level, while the 2012 law also prescribes the minimum standards of facilities and services provided by labs.
On huge variation in rates charged for lab testing, the Minister said "it needs to be done. But state governments have to implement. We can ask them to do it."
He also assured the member that these issues will be discussed with state government officials at a meeting on Saturday. The Member later withdrew the bill.
Shantaram Naik (Cong) and Bhupider Singh (BJD) also spoke in favour of the bill.
After this, the Chair did not take up any other private member matter due to lack of quorum and adjourned the House for the day.