The takeover of private hospitals by the district administration using special powers conferred under Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 may possibly set a precedent for other district authorities to follow suit in the coming days.
In an unprecedented move, the district administration of Bhilwara in Rajasthan has taken over of five major private hospitals in Bhilwara city with immediate effect.
The order was passed by District Collector Rajendra Bhatt on March 26 using the provision under the Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases Act 1957.
The five hospitals acquired by the government are Smt Kesarbai Soni Hospital, Shri Siddhi Vinayak Hospital, Ramsnehi Chikitsalaya, Keshav Porwal Hospital and Arihant Hospital. The hospitals are taken along with buildings, medical equipment and staff.
Earlier in the day, the government of Chattishgarh too issued a similar order, taking all the private hospitals in the state, but rolled back the order within hours.
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The takeover of private hospitals by the district administration of Rajasthan using special powers conferred under Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 may possibly set a precedent for other district authorities to follow suit in the coming days, as the government struggles with capacity constraints and private hospitals are unable to step in due to their business models.
Early this month, the Central government has invoked the provisions of Section 2 of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, giving special powers to local authorities to implement the measures necessary for the control of epidemics.
The Epidemic Diseases Act is aimed at preventing the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases. The Colonial Act was introduced to tackle bubonic plague that broke out in the then Bombay state at the time.It gives powers to the state and Central governments to take special measures and formulate regulations that are to be observed by the people to contain the spread of disease.