Recent interventions by Central and state governments have put pressure on private hospitals to come out with self-regulatory norms to strengthen doctor-patient trust by bringing in transparency in the quality of treatment, essentiality of diagnostic tests and the rationality of hospital bills.
The private healthcare industry has expressed hope that the self-regulation code, prepared by the Indian Medical Association, will deter the government from creating an institutional mechanism they dread most - a legally-binding regulatory framework to monitor the functioning of hospitals. It's been seven years since the Centre enacted The Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010.
The implementation by states has been sketchy at best. It has taken a series of ill-thought-out reactions by the Centre and state governments against alleged overcharging and medical negligence by some private hospitals for the industry to suggest an alternative mechanism now.