Zulfkar chairs 18th meet of State Consumer Protection council

Jammu: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer affairs Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali today called for formulating modalities and strengthening policy framework to ensure fixation of prices of diagnostic tests and medicines along with categorisation of nursing homes.
The Minister said this while chairing the 18th meeting of State Consumer Protection Council here today.
The meeting discussed various issues which include , services provided to the consumers  by government and private  hospitals, setting up of the  procedures via committees to check variation in charges of nursing homes,  rates fixed and facilities  provided by these nursing homes, variation in charges of clinical labs , test results of clinical labs along with non-issuance of bills by most of the nursing homes.
The minister while laying stress on providing quality services by the private diagnostic centres and nursing homes to the consumers said that the necessary steps will be taken  for reinstating the  committee for fixation of rates to avoid fluctuating rates of diagnostic tests for the convenience of the public. He also asked the concerned officers to put in necessary efforts so that quality services are provided by the government and private health institutions to the consumers.
The minister while taking a serious note of the issue that   varied reports are generated  for one test in different diagnostic centres directed the health department  for chalking out a  checking mechanism  in this regard.
The minister was also apprised about the exercise carried out by the department of health in 2012 wherein notified rate list was issued by the department but the rate list was stayed by the High Court.
Stressing on the need to work in close liason the minister said that consumer protection council will act as a platform to bring in coordination among the department of health, consumer affairs and legal metrology department wherein a committee already constituted for the purpose of price fixation ,  will be nominated with an  official members from consumer affairs and non-official members of civil society which  will revisit the issues pertaining to disparity in the rates and after exhaustive study of market trends and interaction with all stake holders  formulate parameters for fixing established price list for various diagnostic tests. He categorically stated that consumers who are ultimate beneficiaries of government interventions must be made part of this committee.

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