SRINAGAR, Apr 19: The State High Court has stayed a Health Department order in which rates were fixed for doctors, private nursing homes and diagnostic centres of the State without categorization.
The Health Department (under Government order number 89-HME of 2012 dated 03-02-2012) had fixed rates to be charged by the Private Clinical Establishments, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Diagnostic Centres from patients for the treatment, diagnostic and other facilities in the State without their categorization.
The Court has, however, said that the Health Department is at liberty to constitute the Committee for categorization in terms of Government Order No. 286-HME of 2010 dated 29-04-2010 and Order No. 453-HME of 2010 dated 06-09-2010 if they choose it.
Under these two Government orders, committees were formed to fix the rates for these facilities provided by the Private Clinical Establishments, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Diagnostic Centres from patients for treatment.
But the Government without categorization fixed uniform rates for the facilities provided by these Private Clinical Establishments, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Diagnostic Centres from patients for treatment. The Court has given four weeks to the Health Department to file objections.
The court stayed the Health department order in response to the writ petition filed by Kashmir Private Hospital and Nursing Homes Association, Srinagar through their counsel Advocate Nazir Ahmad Malik.
The petitioners have taken a plea that the Health Department has failed to constitute a Technical Expert Committee for seeking opinion for the fixation of rates to be charged by the Private Clinical Establishments, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Diagnostic Centres from patients for treatment.
The petitioners while challenging the order have taken plea that there are three star hospitals, two star hospitals and other category hospitals where facilities are different from one another. The petitioners’ plea further says that some of these establishments have quality accommodation, quality diagnostic machinery, highly qualified and experienced doctors but have been categorized with those which lack these facilities.
The petitioner have prayed that the Government order is illegal, bad and unconstitutional as it is violation of Article 14, 19 (g) and beyond the scope of Clause 6 of Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
The petitioners have also challenged the Health Department order on the basis that it is against the Medical Council of India guidelines. It says under these guidelines neither the central government nor the State Government can fix rates for medical practitioners, Private Clinical Establishments, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Diagnostic Centres.
The petitioners have also taken a plea that all these establishments or services are unaided and as such they can’t be compelled by the Government to charge a particular fee for performing various types of surgeries.