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The Bihar assembly Tuesday enacted laws to regulate private nursing homes and to protect doctors from being attacked by the attendants of patients, officials said.

In a bid to check the mushrooming of ill-equipped private nursing homes and clinics in the state, the lawmakers approved the adoption of the central government’s Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010.

The assembly also passed the Bihar Medical Service Institution and Persons Protection Bill, 2011, that makes attacks on doctors or a medical service institution a cognizable offence, officials said.

The adoption of the act on regulation of nursing homes would make it mandatory for all such institutions to get themselves registered, failing which their owners would be liable for punishment with fine, which may go up to Rs.5 lakh.

An official of the health department said that with the adoption of the act the existing Bihar Clinical Establishments (control and regulation) Act, 2007 was repealed.

The legislation on protection of doctors would meet the demand by them seeking a shield in view of the rising incidents of attack on them and vandalism of clinics by attendants of patients.

Any attack on doctors or a medical institution would now be treated as a cognizable offence. A cognizable offence is one in which police are empowered to register a first information report (FIR), investigate and arrest an accused.

The offenders who attack doctors or clinics would now have to pay double the amount of the damage caused to property.

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