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QCI inspection for CGHS empanelment

Around 531 private hospitals and diagnostic laboratories in the country, which have filled tenders for being empanelled for the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), will be inspected by four certification bodies chosen by Quality Council of India (QCI), as per an order passed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare In January 2006.

The order comes after complaints by a nursing home of alleged connivance between the quality audit team (comprising specialist doctors from government hospitals), and CGHS officers in empanelling hospitals for CGHS. An inquiry by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and CGHS team revealed that seven hospitals and two diagnostic centres not fulfilling empanelment criteria had been empanelled for CGHS. The Union Health Ministry has thus chosen QCI, an autonomous body under the Law Ministry working towards developing an accreditation system for hospitals in India, to submit its report of hospitals and diagnostic centres to be empanelled for CGHS this year.

QCI has chosen four certification bodies to inspect the various private hospitals and diagnostic centres that have filed tenders for CGHS empanelment. The four certification bodies chosen by QCI are BVQI India, International Certification Services, Intal Quality Certification, and NVT Quality Certification. These bodies have offices across the country and are independent certification and inspection bodies accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) of QCI.

The inspection team will comprise two system assessors, one doctor, and an observer from CGHS (must be a chief medical officer). The observer will not participate in the inspection process. The inspections have started from January 2 in several CGHS cities. The teams will submit their status report to QCI by March.

The Ministry has decided that the criteria prescribed in the tender document will form the basis of the checklist for inspection. The tender document states that private hospitals wishing to be empanelled should have a minimum bed capacity of 100. Besides various parameters such as equipment, rates of Intensive Care Unit and blood bank, the quality audit team will consider infrastructure and staff strength. Similarly, diagnostic centres should have more than one investigation facility such as cardio-respiratory, nuclear, imaging facilities (MRI, CAT scan, and ultrasound), and a large test menu, and indicate the number of CGHS patients who availed of these services last year.


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