SRINAGAR, Apr 23: High Court today directed the Government to make public the cost of stents and also monitor all diagnostic and cancer centers so that any unfair practice may be prevented.
The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Tashi Rabstan while hearing a suo-moto cognizance taken by the Court on media reports about medical corruption in the State, the
Division Bench today directed Commissioner Secretary Health and Family Welfare Education to issue vide publicity about the cost of coronary stents available in the hospitals.
In this connection a notification has already been issued by the National Pharmaceutical Authority of India on 13.2.2017 and Court directed the State Government to act on the said notification and give publicity to the cost of stents.
In addition to this direction, the Court also directed for proper monitoring of diagnostic and cancer centers in the State so that any unfair practice and overcharging by these centers may be prevented. “Diagnostic centers review and management be done fortnightly and report to court”, DB directed.
Court also directed to see as to whether these centers are operating in tune with the provisions of law and are registered or not. Court also sought report as to whether these centers are functioning on the basis of standard specifics or not.
Court also directed for monitoring the services rendered by the special residents so that they do not involve in private practice. It is in the PIL highlighted that there is ‘massive difference’ in the actual price of medicines and the MRP mentioned in the packet of drugs the difference is as much as 500% and at times even more. Regulating of the drug price has been emphasized.
It has been highlighted that sometimes referring doctors or a group is paid as much as 50% cut of medical treatment charges of the patient.
Court enquired from the State counsel with regard to wide publicity in news papers about the order dated 13.2.2017 issued by Ministry of Chemical & Fertilizers Department which relates to capping of the prices of stents and a circular was issued by National Pharmaceutical Authority (NPPA) which indicates that all the hospital are directed to abide by the order dated 13.2.17.
Suomoto cognizance has been taken by the Court following report of news papers about the news report under caption “Medical Corruption” in which the corruption has been highlighted by one G S Grewal in his open letter to the Prime Minister of India as exorbitantly priced drugs, cuts and commission to referring doctors and referring patients for diagnostic tests and medical examination without the actual need.
He while writing to PM has observed that there is urgent need to purge the health care system to make it affordable and urged for legislating a strong law with its strict implementation which alone can act as strong deterrent against the ‘medical corruption, cheating and fraud.
In his letter to PM which was carried thereafter by news paper he further stated that in absence of a strong law, desperate and helpless patients will continue to get exploit, fleeced and even stripped of their possessions, earnings and savings.
Court after going through the news report observed that this Court as a responsible Constitutional authority and to uphold and preserve the Constitutional rights of a sizeable section of population embedded in particular in Article 21 of the Constitution of India cannot shut its eyes and abdicate the constitutional duty but has to stand up to safeguard the legal and constitutional rights of large section of population most of whom cannot not afford to approach this court.
“In view of above referred circumstances the medical treatment has become very expensive rather unaffordable for majority of population across the country”, Court in its suo moto cognizance mentioned.
Court further added that for all the period, from which the write-ups have appeared in the news papers no action has been taken to redress the legal and constitutional grievances of a large section of population which has constrained the Court to initiate action.