The Delhi High Court Monday disposed of a plea seeking capping of prices at private hospitals for treatment of Covid patients. (Vivek Aggrawal vs UOI and others)
The division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has disposed of this petition with a liberty to file an Interim Application in a writ petition no. 3031/2020 pending before the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh with similar prayers. The court said the practice of filing the writ petitions on the similar matter pending before any other bench of the concerned court will bring the multifariousness of the writ petitions.
This present petition is filed as a PIL seeking direction regarding capping the price taken by the private hospitals from the patients for their treatment of Covid-19. The petitioner submitted that hospitals are not following Covid protocols. The Directorate General of Health Services had observed that hospitals were admitting mild and moderate cases of Covid-19 which were not in line with the prescribed admission protocol.
The petitioner has also submitted that there is a trend that has been observed in the selling of drugs, the black marketing and hoarding of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab that have been reported and with its scarcity, has limited its supply to hospitals. The drug is not supposed to be supplied to wholesale distributors or medical counters and it cannot be bought over the counter as well. However, some miscreants have still found out a way to hoard the stocks of these lifesaving drugs.
Despite having so many prayers in his petition, the petitioner has basically focused on the issue of such a high and unreasonable price taken by the doctors, hospital for the treatment of Covid-19. As the outbreak of Covid-19 has already rendered many people jobless and so many people are facing unemployment and economic hardships, the treatment of Covid-19 in itself has proved much expensive.
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Though the Central Government has by and large been successful in putting a cap on the prices of RT-PCR Test, vaccines, etc and control the market process of the same, however, capping the prices of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, oxygen cylinders has currently been ineffective in controlling the market prices.