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Punjab and Haryana High Court Issues Directions for Uniform RTPCR, RAT Rates, ICU Control rooms, and Guidelines on Mucormycosis [READ ORDER]

By Prachi Jain      01 June, 2021 11:35 AM      0 Comments
Punjab and Haryana High Court Issues Directions for Uniform RTPCR, RAT Rates, ICU Control rooms, and Guidelines on Mucormycosis [READ ORDER]

Punjab and Haryana High Court on May 27th 2021 Thursday issued a slew of directions on the aspects concerning uniformity in rates of RAT and RTPCR in states including Punjab, Haryana and union territory of Chandigarh, ICU Control Rooms, over charging of private hospitals and the need for States to examine Centre's guidelines for screening and diagnosis of Mucormycosis or black fungus.

A division bench chaired by Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh issued the following directions:

  • The rates of RAT and RT-PCR test in all the three states need to be uniform. Taking a cue from the rates prescribed by the State of Punjab, we feel that state of Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh need to reconsider the rates prescribed and act accordingly.
  • Admittedly union territory Chandigarh has reduced the rates of HRCT chest charged by the private diagnostic centers to ₹1800 which we find is reasonable. We hope that State of Punjab and Haryana shall impress upon private diagnostic centers situated in their respective jurisdictions to reduce the rates of HRCT chest on the similar lines.
  • We also find that ICU Control Rooms are necessary as relatives of the patient cannot be left in the state of anxiety if information regarding the medical condition of their kith and kin, who are admitted in the ICU is not available to them. This also leads to complaints by the relatives of the patients and the consequent fact-finding inquiries. We, thus feel that state government needs to issue necessary directions in this regard on the analogy of PGIMER, Chandigarh and other reputed institutions.
  • As regard the issue of ventilators, counsel for the union territory Chandigarh has informed the court that 14 ventilators have been issued yesterday evening. State of Punjab submits that request for more ventilators particularly for pediatric use has been made to Government of India and same needs to be considered. Mr. Jain, learned Additional Solicitor General of India submits that needful shall be done without any delay. He further submits that if any further request is received from union territory Chandigarh or State of Haryana in this regard, same shall also be considered for with necessary steps taken.
  • As regards the fact-finding enquiries in respect of overcharging by some private hospitals, same be also furnished to the Nodal Committees. A copy thereof be kept by the concerned authority in a sealed cover. At the appropriate stage, this court may call for such report and examine the same to consider whether further action needs to be initiated.
  • This court also feels that guidelines issued by union of India for Screening, Diagnosis and Management of black fungus be examined by all the States unnecessary steps be taken.
  • Lastly this court shall be failing in its duty if it does not recognize the work done by frontline workers who have rendered their services in this need of hour. At the same time, those who shirk their duties in these difficult times, their particulars shall be furnished to the nodal agencies formed to deal with crisis created by COVID-19 which this shall examine at the appropriate stage. 

This development came after the court was notified about these issues by amicus Curie Senior Advocate Rupinder Khosla including overcharging for CT scan, HRCT chest, regulatory mechanism for rates to be charged by various laboratories, spread of black fungus and the corporate response sought by the Court under CSR on previous occasions.

The court was also apprised by Advocate Anupam Gupta that commendable efforts had been made by all the three States for reduction of rates of various tests, CT scans and medicines and have also initiate action against the hospitals who have over charged the same. He further submitted before the court that hospitals are to have an ICU control room in order to ensure that relatives of the patient remain in regular touch with them and are aware of their medical condition.

This matter is set to be present on May 28th 2021. 

During the previous course of hearing the court had sought assistance of states of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh on the steps to curb the spread of black fungus after expressing concern regarding preventive steps.

It was also directed by the court that union territory of Chandigarh may impress upon the private diagnostic centers to reduce price of HRCT test to rupees 1800.

Title of the case is Rishi vs State of Haryana and Ors.

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