All the primary hospitals and community health centres in Gujarat are set to undergo a sea change, with the state government taking initiatives to ensure quality healthcare services. As part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the government of Gujarat with the Quality Council of India (QCI), about 1000 primary health centres and 270 community health centres across the state will get a facelift through various capacity building exercises of QCI. “The Gujarat government has come up with a big plan to improve the quality of services of 1000 primary health centres and about 270 community health centres across the state. In this regard, we have signed a Rs 300 crore MoU during and plan to start our operations after February 15. The project is aimed at upgrading the standards of the health centres through focal points like patient’s clinical safety, rights of the patients and improving the quality of care, to name a few. Under the MoU, we will act as the technical advisors for the state government for the entire project, by training their team through capacity building. It may take upto two years to complete the project,” said Girdhari Gyani, secretary general of Quality Council of India. The move comes after the state government, in a one-of-its-kind initiative, got 24 district level hospitals from across Gujarat registered under National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), an accredition launched by QCI for healthcare providers like hospitals, blood banks and wellness centers. These accreditation standards have necessary approvals from the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) for 2008-12 which means the NABH- accredited hospitals would have global / international recognition. “Gujarat is all set to become a role model for many other states as this is the first time that a state government has come forward to register its hospitals under such an accredition. After this, state governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been prompted to register their hospitals under NABH and have got 60 and 12 accreditions so far,” said Gyani. Besides, Delhi has six, Madhya Pradesh five and Uttar Pradesh has one acrredition to credit. To provide the much needed boost to medical tourism in the country, corporate groups like Apollo, Fortis, Max, Wockhardt and others have decided to adopt the NABH standards, out of which QCI has already granted accredition to 25 private hospitals across India and 99 are in different stages of evaluation. Once the hospitals conform to the norms of the accredition, like clinical protocols, quality of healthcare, records and rights of the patients, to name a few, QCI sends 3-4 doctors to the respective hospitals applying for examination. After the procedures are strictly followed, the accredition committe grants the accredition. India’s apex quality accreditation & facilitation body, functioning under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, QCI was set up in 1997 for conformity assessment bodies. QCI will be organising its 4th National Quality Conclave on the 5-6 February, 2009, to be held in New Delhi. The theme ‘Quality for Empowering the Billion’, is aligned with the focus areas of QCI, namely, education, healthcare, public services and manufacturing.