The government has finally framed and notified rules for the Goa Medical Practitioners Act, 2004. Notifying the rules means that the Goa Medical Practitioners Act can now be properly implemented in Goa.
The Act was passed in 2004 to provide for medical treatment only by qualified medical practitioners and to rein in unauthorized practice and medical treatment. Although it was last amended in 2008, the rules hadn’t been framed.
The government had subsequently pre-published the draft rules in July 2010 inviting objections and suggestions from citizens likely to be affected by the rules. Since none were received from the public, the government has now notified the Goa Medical Practitioners Rules, 2011.
Besides furnishing the definitions, procedure for obtaining licenses and manner of filing appeals, the rules also specify the minimum standards required for setting up and operating a medical practice in Goa.
In fact, every private doctor or medical practitioner engaged in private practice must conform to the minimum standards referred to in Section 4 of the Act. These are the standards to be maintained by doctors or medical practitioners engaged in the practice in medicine, dentistry in a clinic or in hospital, nursing home, diagnostic centre and pathological laboratory.
The rules stipulate that the medical practitioner shall be assisted by para-medical staff including qualified nurses and technicians (wherever required), with attendants, servants, etc. Further, the staff must be free from communicable or contagious diseases and medically examined at the time of appointment and thereafter at every six months. The staff must also wear clean clothes or identifiable uniforms.
The rules stipulate that the premises should include a consulting room, a patient room, a reception or lobby area, equipment and instruments of good quality, adequate staff to carry out the various required tasks, beds with mattresses and linen, and an adequate number of toilets with water facility.
The rules also specify that the premises should have a fully-equipped operation theatre and labour room, proper method of disposal of biomedical waste as per the Biomedical Waste (management and handling) Rules, 1998, as amended from time to time.
In case of hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic centres, and pathological laboratories, the names, addresses and license numbers of all the practicing doctors, including that of honorary doctors, shall be prominently displayed.
The minimum standards as laid down under a trade license issued by the concerned Municipal Corporation, municipal council or village panchayat shall be maintained. Besides, proper hygiene and cleanliness, and adequate water and power supply shall be provided and the premises shall always be clean.