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7 June 2024 : The Hindu Editorial Analysis

1. Health regulations need a base to top approach

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Health
  • The article discusses systemic failures in health-care regulations following a tragic fire incident in a New Delhi neonatal care nursing home.
  • It highlights challenges in implementing unrealistic regulations, unfair practices in scrutinising private facilities, and the need for reforms to promote affordable and accessible health care.


  • A devastating fire incident in a private neonatal care nursing home in New Delhi raised concerns about health-care regulations.
  • The blame game ensued among political parties, overshadowing the systemic failures in health-care regulations.

Challenges in Health-care Regulation:

  • India’s health-care system faces challenges in implementing excessive and unrealistic regulations across states.
  • The Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010, remains unadopted due to impractical provisions.
  • Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) have low compliance rates, indicating unrealistic standards.

Mixed Health-care System:

  • India’s health-care system comprises both government and private sectors, with private facilities catering to a significant portion of health services.
  • Despite public perception, private facilities often fulfil health needs more effectively in certain states like Maharashtra and Kerala.

Unfair Regulation Practices:

  • Private health-care facilities face disproportionate scrutiny and enforcement compared to government facilities.
  • Instances of differing treatment in licensing suspension highlight the need for equitable regulation.
  • Facility owners cite delays in approval processes, hindering timely renewal and compliance.
  • Slow bureaucratic processes undermine the effectiveness of regulations.

Promoting Affordable Care:

  • Single doctor clinics and small nursing homes play a crucial role in providing accessible and affordable health services.
  • There is a need for supportive regulations to keep health-care costs low and ensure affordability.

Recommendations for Regulatory Reform:

  • Simplify regulations to ensure practicality and feasibility.
  • Tailor regulations to suit different types of health-care facilities, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Involve stakeholders, including doctors’ associations and community members, in the formulation of regulations.
  • Mitigate political sensationalism and media bias to prevent mistrust and violence against health-care providers.

Focus on Primary-care Providers:

  • Promote single doctor clinics and smaller health-care facilities to enhance primary care delivery.
  • Support these providers with subsidies and incentives to maintain affordability and accessibility.

Addressing Root Causes:

  • Address systemic failures by simplifying regulations and ensuring timely decisions on licensing.
  • Develop regulations collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure fairness and effectiveness.


  • The fire tragedy in Delhi underscores the need for practical and implementable health-care regulations.
  • By promoting primary-care providers and streamlining regulatory processes, India can achieve people-centric, accessible, and quality health services as outlined in the National Health Policy, 2017.
Healthcare Regulation in India:

Challenges in Healthcare Regulation in India: Fragmented Regulatory Framework:

  • Lack of a unified regulatory framework results in overlapping jurisdictions and inconsistencies.
  • Quality Control: Ensuring quality standards across public and private healthcare providers remains a challenge.
  • Access Disparities: Rural-urban divide and socioeconomic disparities affect equitable access to healthcare services.
  • Medical Education: Regulation of medical education and accreditation of healthcare institutions require improvement to maintain quality standards.
  • Corruption and Oversight: Lack of effective monitoring and oversight mechanisms leads to corruption and malpractices in the healthcare sector.

Way Forward:

  • Unified Regulatory Body: Establish a unified regulatory body to streamline healthcare regulation and ensure consistency.
  • Enhanced Oversight: Strengthen monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to prevent malpractices and ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Standardisation of Quality: Implement standardised quality control measures across healthcare facilities to ensure uniform standards of care.
  • Investment in Rural Healthcare: Increase investment in rural healthcare infrastructure and services to address access disparities.
  • Capacity Building: Invest in training and capacity building for healthcare professionals to enhance service delivery and quality of care.
PYQ: Public health system has limitations in providing universal health coverage. Do you think that the private sector could help in bridging the gap? What other viable alternatives would you suggest? (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2015)
Practice Question:  Discuss the systemic failures in health-care regulations in India. Evaluate the challenges in implementing regulations and suggest reforms to promote affordable and accessible healthcare. (250 Words /15 marks)

(Source – The Hindu, International Edition – Page No. – 4)

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