Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act

!! Introduction

In India, private health care constitute a significantly and disproportionately large group in terms of physical size, investments, expenditure and population it is catering to. There are variations in health providers in term of the system of medicine, the level of specialization, and the services they provide. In the last few years, due to economic restructuring, the role of the private health sector has undergone a change in terms of quality of care. In today’s scenario, regulation and accreditation of nursing homes is important to ensure a minimum quality of healthcare at an affordable price to the community. One such act, dealing with the regulation of nursing homes in Maharastra, is the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act (BNHRA). In Maharastra, regulation of private nursing homes is applicable in four district only .i e. Bombay, Pune, Sholapur, Nagpur.

Numerous studies have successfully highlighted the low levels of registration for BNHRA among the nursing homes, poor levels of physical and clinical standards. [1] Another recent study by CEHAT highlighted that there is a mushrooming of nursing homes across the state which are functioning without any standardization or regulation. Over the years, incidences of assault on medical staff and hospitals has increased but proportionately the cases of negligence by doctors and hospitals, sexual harassment of female patients, discourteous treatment to poor and illiterate patients, denial of basic first aid and emergency services by hospitals are also on the rise .So it is of the utmost important for owners of nursing homes to get registered to avoid any future inconvenience. There is a need to segregate registered nursing homes and qualified health providers from illegal, non-registered nursing homes and quacks. In today’s changing world, there is a need to bring efficiency, quality of care and equitable health to patients in the day to day working of nursing homes. The best way to ensure this is to get registered under the BNHRA. . In the present scenario of rise in demand of health tourism and a growing insurance sector, there is a need and a necessity on the part of nursing homes to set standards and this would be ensured if they registered under BNHRA.

The BNHRA is a formal initiative by the Government for focusing on observing minimum standards of care through registration of nursing homes. CEHAT was invited by the Government of Maharastra to facilitate the process of formulating the Rules for the BNHRA (amendment) 2005 .This was done through an extensive consultative process involving representatives of medical associations, consumer groups and health rights groups. A framework for accreditation of private nursing homes was also developed.

[1] CEHAT study on the nursing homes in Maharashtra, in 1994, reveals that registration among the nursing homes in was very low with poor levels of clinical and physical standards. The Committee appointed by the Bombay High Court in 1989 in response to a PIL stating the poor implementation of the BNHRA Act in Maharashtra also had similar findings.