Karnataka’s Pvt. hospitals directed to install color-coded boards with registration numbers and other details to weed out fraudsters


In a decisive move to curb the prevalence of fake medical practitioners and ensure transparency in healthcare, the Karnataka Health Department has mandated all private medical establishments to display color-coded boards. This directive aims to help patients easily identify the type of medical practice and verify the legitimacy of healthcare providers, thereby protecting public health and enhancing trust in the medical system.

The Directive: Colour-Coded Boards

On a recent Friday, the Karnataka Health Department issued a circular requiring private medical practitioners to put up color-coded boards at their establishments. These boards must display key information, including the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME) registration number, the names of the institution and owner, and the type of medicine practiced. The system is straightforward: blue boards for allopathic practitioners and green boards for Ayurvedic practitioners.

Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao highlighted the importance of this initiative on X (formerly Twitter), emphasizing the need for clarity and regulation in the healthcare sector. Establishments that fail to comply with this directive will face strict penalties under Section 19(5) of the KPME Amendment Act 2017.

Purpose and Implementation

The primary goal of this initiative is to weed out quacks and unauthorized practitioners who engage in unregulated and often unsafe medical practices. According to Health Commissioner Randeep D., it has been observed that some private medical establishments have failed to display their KPME certificates or the system of medicine they practice prominently. This lack of transparency can mislead patients and compromise their safety.

To address this, the circular specifies that every private medical establishment registered under the KPME Act must display:

  • The name of the owner or manager.
  • The KPME registration certificate.
  • The system of medicine practiced.
  • Services are available within the hospital premises.

These details must be prominently displayed in a visible area to ensure public information is readily accessible. The color-coded boards must meet minimum dimensions and information requirements to be effective tools for patient identification and verification.

Addressing Unauthorized Practices

The directive also aims to combat the rise of unauthorized establishments practicing unclassified systems of medicine. These include traditional systems, vamshaparamparika (hereditary practices), home remedies, and alternative therapies like cupping, electromagnetic therapy, body massage, hypnotherapy, and sound therapy. These practices are not recognized as medical treatments under Section 2(1) of the KPME Act, and their regulation is crucial to safeguarding patient health.

Impact on Healthcare Transparency

This move towards color-coded boards is a significant step in enhancing transparency in healthcare. By clearly identifying the type of medical practice and ensuring that only registered practitioners operate within the legal framework, the Karnataka Health Department aims to protect patients from fraudulent practices. This initiative will make it easier for patients to identify legitimate healthcare providers and the type of services offered, thus fostering a safer healthcare environment.

Benefits for Patients and the Public

  1. Easy Identification: Colour-coded boards provide a simple way for patients to identify the type of medical practice at a glance, reducing confusion and enhancing trust.
  2. Verification of Legitimacy: Displaying the KPME registration number and other details ensures that patients can verify the legitimacy of the medical establishment, offering peace of mind and assurance of quality care.
  3. Protection from Quacks: The directive aims to eliminate unauthorized practitioners, protecting patients from unsafe and potentially harmful treatments offered by unlicensed individuals.
  4. Enhanced Public Health: By regulating and identifying legitimate medical practices, the initiative promotes higher standards of healthcare and patient safety.


Karnataka’s introduction of color-coded boards for private medical establishments is a commendable initiative towards transparency and regulation in the healthcare sector. By mandating clear displays of essential information and combating unrecognized practices, the state is taking significant steps to protect public health and uphold the integrity of medical practice.

This initiative not only empowers patients with the information needed to make informed choices but also reinforces the commitment to high standards of healthcare in Karnataka. As this directive takes effect, it promises to enhance trust, ensure quality care, and safeguard patients against the dangers of fraudulent medical practices.

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