Kerala to ink pact with London NICE to revitalize health sector

Amid reports that the health sector in Kerala is bedeviled by many problems that have led to reduction in quality of service delivery in certain health institutions, the state government has decided to ink a pact with the London based National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to revitalize the entire health services in the state.

The tie-up will be for the next three years and with the intervention of NICE, best standard could be maintained in all spheres of health sector in the state, said Rajeev Sadanandan, principal secretary, health, government of Kerala. He was speaking at the valedictory session of the pharmacists’ conference at Thiruvananthapuram recently.

The total system will become in a systematic and proper way and separate guidelines for treatment, medicine, services of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other para medical professionals will come into force. In future, there will not be any variation in the treatment, he said.

NICE, an arm of the national health services of the UK government, provides independent, authoritative and evidence-based guidance on the most effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease and ill health, reducing inequalities and variation.

“For the next three years, the department will be monitored by NICE, strict vigilance and standard can be maintained in each and every area of the health sector. They will carry out assessments of the most appropriate treatment regimes for different diseases. This will help the desired medical outcomes for patients. The use of new and existing medicines, treatments, clinical practice, guidance on treatment procedures, advice to patients and public sector workers on health promotion and ill-health avoidance will be provided by the experts of the organisation,” the health secretary said.

The health secretary said that in the next session of the state Legislative Assembly, the government will introduce the Clinical Establishment Bill which will standardize the fee being levied by private hospitals and clinical institutions for various services. Further, drug rationalization committee will also be formed in all district hospitals, which will prepare the list of medicines to be distributed under a scheme for providing generic drugs from November 1. In all the government hospitals in Kerala, generic medicines will be available on reasonable rates and a treatment protocol will also come into force from November, he added.

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