IRDAI has mandated that 33,000 hospitals empanelled with it must meet the pre-accreditation entry-level standards laid down by the National Accreditation Board of Hospitals (NABH) within two years. This was stated in its changed guidelines issued on July 12.
There are several healthcare providers in rural and urban areas which do not provide discharge summaries. But if a patient is being treated in an IRDAI -empanelled hospital, he will be assured access to documented records.
Besides, the hospital will also meet certain standards in infection control and standards in 167 other elements in patient safety. Dr Alex Thomas, who is on the board of NABH, said, “This is a huge step forward in healthcare delivery at the grassroots level. A lot of patients operated upon in rural areas don’t even know what has been done to them. That will change.”
Dr K K Kalra, CEO, NABH, said, “In the West, 80 per cent of hospitals have insurance schemes. In India, only 7 per cent of private hospitals have insurance schemes. The insurance sector has turned into a driver of patient safety. Unless the hospital is accredited, insurance claims are not passed. This notification by IRDAI will push its empanelled hospitals to improve their healthcare delivery.”