Take call on capping hospital, test charges in 48 hours: HC

Directing the State government to spell out its strategy to tackle the situation in the event of a third wave of COVID-19, Telangana High Court on Monday said the government cannot afford to take chances on the matter.

Hearing a batch of PIL pleas on coronavirus-connected issues, a bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy observed that scientific and medical experts indicated children could be more susceptible to the virus during the possible third wave. Hence, the government needs to be geared up to meet the situation, the bench said.

The bench directed the government to issue orders within 48 hours on fixing charges for different diagnostic tests and hospitalisation for COVID-19 patients. If not all for all tests, the government can cap the charge for crucial blood tests and CT scan of chest which are crucial to assess the condition of the patients, the CJ noted.

“Examine the issue of capping prices of tests and beds with all seriousness and take all measures to issue a GO in the matter,” the CJ told the government.

Lawyer Arjun Kumar told the bench that a three-member task force committee of IAS officers used to examine complaints relating to excessive charges and bills, but the committee was not functional any more. The CJ ordered reconstitution of the panel and publicise its contact number so that people can lodge complaints.

Referring to submissions relating to prices of drugs, the bench issued notices to National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and directed it to file an affidavit on the prices of essential medicines.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 6:51:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/take-call-on-capping-hospital-test-charges-in-48-hours-hc/article34582345.ece

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