Saturday, September 30, 2023

Telangana HC Directs State Govt To Allow Authorized Private Labs To Conduct COVID 19 Tests

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The High Court of Telangana has directed the State Government to allow private labs and hospitals authorized by the Indian Council of Medical Research to test and treat COVID 19 patients.

The decision came from bench comprising Justice M S Ramachandra Rao and Justice K Lakshman, while it was hearing a petition filed by a resident of Nacharam, Mr Ganta Jai Kumar seeking directions to allow eligible private hospitals with essential facilities to conduct COVID 19 tests at their laboratories.

The State Government has been insisting people to get themselves tested at Gandhi Hospital and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) and go for treatment only in government hospitals.

The bench observed that the order of the State Government was highly unconstitutional and that every citizen has the right get himself tested and treated at private labs and hospitals at their own cost. The Government was not authorized to pressurize people to go to state run hospitals for treatment.

The bench further directed that those private labs and hospitals who were willing to provide tests and treatments against COVID 19 should apply for permission from ICMR which would assess the capacity and facilities available to deal with COVID 19. The bench further said that the ICMR will also fix the rates for tests and treatments.

The Counsel appearing for the State Government contended that if Government allowed private hospitals to treat and test COVID patients there were chances that the private hospitals would charges excess fess and hide the actual figures.

The Court however did not concur with the contentions of the State Government and said that it was not possible for the Government alone to tackle the spread of COVID 19 without the support of private institutions because the government was only testing symptomatic patients. Hence the Government should have no objection if an individual goes to a private lab at his own cost get himself tested for COVID 19.

-India Legal Bureau

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