LICENSING

Licensing is a grant of permission issued to a Healthcare Establishment (HCE) by the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) under the IHR Act 2018 for the use of any premises or conveyance as a Healthcare Establishment.

A Healthcare Establishment (HCE) means any premises used or intended to be used for the provision of healthcare services, including but not limited to a hospital, teaching hospitals, surgical centers, maternity homes, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, dentistry, dental clinics, clinical laboratories, x-ray laboratories, diagnostic centers, ambulatories, cosmetic centers, psychiatric hospitals, burn units. psychiatric nursing home, community mental health center, hemodialysis center, dialysis centre, patient rehabilitation center, slimming clinic or centre, hair transplant clinic, domiciliary care, home based services and such other healthcare or health-related premises as the Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, specify.

Licensing is a mandatory process and no Healthcare Establishment can function or operate without obtaining license from the IHRA. Licensing focuses on the enforcement of quality healthcare service standards (QHSS) for delivery of healthcare services. It sets out standards that a Healthcare Establishment must observe and implement in order to operate and deliver quality healthcare services.

BENEFITS OF LICENSING FOR HCE

Licensing ensures that Healthcare Establishment is allowed to operate as a safe and effective place for healthcare delivery, promising a reduction in the number and severity of system failures, ensuring greater patient and practitioner confidence in the Healthcare Establishment thereby raising its profile, professional value, clientele and quality of healthcare services. Licensing also provides immunity to healthcare service providers from any suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings except under the IHR Act 2018, and protects staff of the Healthcare Establishments from harassment.

LICENSING IS MANDATORY

All HCEs in ICT, both in the public and private sectors, are required to obtain a license from the IHRA. If a Healthcare Establishment fails to be licensed under the IHR Act 2018 within a required period of time, the IHRA may impose a fine which may extend to Rs. 1,000,000 or order the closing down of the Healthcare Establishment.

Whoever himself or by any other person on his behalf establishes any healthcare establishment without registration or a license shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend to one million Rupees or with both:

REGULAR LICENSING

A Regular License shall be issued by IHRA to such an applicant whose application has been accepted by the Authority after inspection and it has fully complied with the provisions of the IHR Act 2018, Licensing Regulations as well as the IHRA QHSS.

FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT QHSS WITHIN A STIPULATED PERIOD

IHRA is entrusted to ensure that all registered and provisionally licensed healthcare establishments implement QHSS within a stipulated time. If a HCE fails to implement the desired standards within the given time period, the Authority may impose a fine which may extend to Rs. 1,000,000/- OR issue an order of closing down the Healthcare Establishments till the Standards are met.

LICENSING PROCESS

IHRA has well defined and transparent process for licensing of HCEs, which is initiated when the HCE is registered with IHRA. On receipt of an application, complete with all requisite documents, the Authority issues a provisional license to the healthcare establishment. HCE is then invited to nominate staff for training on QHSS, intended to facilitate HCE staff in the implementation of standards. The Authority, before issuing the license, carries out a pre-assessment of the healthcare establishment which is to be licensed, where IHRA inspection team further assist HCE staff in identifying and eliminating gaps in QHSS implementation. After allowing HCEs a reasonable period of time to ensure implementation of QHSS, a formal inspection assessing the HCE’s eligibility for a regular license constitutes the final step in the licensing process, where a HCE is deemed eligible upon demonstration of desired compliance levels to the QHSS.

TYPES OF LICENSING

Every license of a healthcare establishment shall specify the kind of healthcare establishment for which it is issued and the purposes of the healthcare establishment. A licensed healthcare establishment shall not be used for any purpose other than the purposes in respect of which the license is issued and purposes incidental to such purposes. IHRA maintains a register of all licensed healthcare establishments.

 

LICENSING FEE

At the time of Licensing, a Healthcare Establishment is required to pay a non-refundable fee to the IHRA depending upon the type of Healthcare Establishment.

RENEWAL OF LICENSE

The license shall be valid for a period of five years and may be renewed upon expiry. The healthcare establishment shall make a request for the renewal of its License prior to the expiration date. A renewed License shall not be issued unless the License fee is received by the IHRA. The license will not be renewed if the IHRA regulations and/or requirements are not met.

REVOCATION OF LICENSE

A License granted to a HCE can be suspended or revoked or refused for renewal if it fails to comply with the standards set forth in the QHSS, violates provisions of the IHR Act 2018, involved in instances of serious medical negligence and system failures, indulges in fraud or misrepresentation to obtain a License, refuses to undergo inspection and/or fails to comply with the Licensing Regulations of the IHRA.

NUMBER OF REGISTERED HCES

  • Total Applications received so far : 580
  • Responded : 100 %
  • Letter sent for missing Docs: 243
  • Recommended for Registration : 337