SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court directed the state government Monday to monitor diagnostic and scan centres fortnightly, to ensure no overcharging occurs and that patients are provided proper medical help.
Hearing a public interest litigation on medical corruption, the division bench of acting Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Tashi Rabstan directed the authorities to check the licences and equipment quality of diagnostic centres and file a report before court.
Justice Ramalingam said, “Patients cannot be taken for a ride. What is required should be done by the government, and whosoever is indulging in illegal practice should be dealt with strongly under law.”
The court remarked that diagnostic centres should not resort to any illegal trade practice, and direction was passed to the state’s authorities to ensure that no such trade is done under garb of patients’ medical conditions.
The court was told that the diagnostic centres have turned into a mafia wherein patients are looted with no check from the state authorities. It was pointed out that to curb private practice attendance of senior doctors/specialists should be checked in all hospitals.
After hearing this, the court passed direction to the state authorities that posting of senior specialists in all hospitals should be checked so that indulgence in private practice can be curbed and primary-level healthcare can be improved.
Meanwhile Advocate Tahir Majid Shamsi and Advocate Moksha Kazmi informed the court that despite rates for coronary stents being fixed by the union government, the state has not implemented it on ground.
Shamsi informed court that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had fixed ceiling prices of coronary stents in its meeting on 13 February 2017 after considering all available information and all relevant data for price fixation of coronary stents.
The NPPA has fixed Rs 7,260 as ceiling price for Bare Metal Stents while Rs 29,600 has been fixed for Drug Eluting Stents (DES), including metallic DES and Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS)/Biodegradable stents.
The court directed Secretary to the Government, Health and Medical Education to issue wide publicity of the rates of coronary stents in print and electronic media without further delay.
Previously the government was asked by court to give wide publicity to the NPPA circular issued under the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, whereby ceiling prices of coronary stents were fixed.
Meanwhile Advocate Shamsi informed court that there is no notice list available at hospitals to check which drug is free for patients.
Taking note, the court directed the authorities to publish lists of free medicines on notice boards at all hospitals and to also create awareness through the media.
The High Court had taken suo motu cognizance of a news article published in a national daily on 26 October 2016, pointing to medical corruption.