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Can a small set up without resident staff and emergency services be called a hospital? Dr. MC Gupta answers

M3 India Newsdwesk Dec 20, 2018

Dr. MC Gupta, a doctor turned lawyer, guides with practical answers and insights for queries posted by Indian doctors. Here he answers a question on whether a small setup can be called a hospital if it doesn't have resident doctors and emergency services.

Q: We have a set- up, a 15-bed hospital in TN where the main service provided is OPD service for gyn-obs patients. Patients are admitted only for elective surgery (about 5 to 7 cases per month). We stay nearby and attend emergencies of in-patients on SOS basis. Nurses are there in the hospital round the clock. There is no separate duty doctor. Emergency patients calling/visiting the hospital at night are referred to a higher centre. 

Our concern is that having a name as ‘
xyz hospital’ and not attending to emergencies may be objectionable legally. Should we change the name from ‘xyz hospital’ to “xyz health centre” or “xyz day care centre”?

Dr MC Gupta answers

1—Your concern is correct.

2—Since you have indoor patients at night, attended to by nurses, it would not be correct to call the set-up a daycare centre.

3—It would be better to call it a health centre. Better still, as a Health Centre for Women.

4—Additionally, you should display prominently at the entrance as follows:

“Emergencies are not entertained here”

5—Please ensure that the place is not registered with the health authorities as a hospital with emergency services.


Disclaimer- The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of M3 India.

Content from the writer has been directly replicated on the website. No edits have been made.

The writer, Dr. MC Gupta is a practising lawyer specialising in medical negligence cases. He also has an MD Medicine from AIIMS, Delhi where he also worked as a faculty member for 18 years, later working another 10 years as a Professor and Dean at National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, before pursuing law.

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