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Madhya Pradesh High Court Allows Private Hospitals To Return Remaining Vaccine Doses After Change In Centre's Vaccination Policy

Sparsh Upadhyay
11 Jun 2021 4:12 PM GMT
Validity Of Vaccine Policy Allowing Private Sector To Procure 25% Vaccines Directly From Manufacturers: MP High Court Seeks Govt. Response

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday allowed the application filed by the private hospitals to return the remaining COVID-19 vaccine doses to the government, in view of the fact that the Central Government has changed its vaccination policy.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sujoy Paul directed the hospitals to return the indicated number of Viles/vaccine doses to concerned CMHO of Jabalpur, Gwalior, Ujjain and Narsinghpur who shall duly verify the same and the amount paid in-lieu thereof shall be refunded to the concerned hospital within a period of one month.

Importantly, the Court directed:

"In view of change in the policy of vaccination by the Union Government, now all the vaccinations will have to be provided free of cost. Hence, the application is allowed."

An application had been jointly filed on behalf of the Indian Medical Association, Jabalpur, and Nursing Home Association with the prayer that in view of the change in the vaccination policy by the Union government, they are willing to return the remaining Viles/vaccination doses to concerned CMHO who may be directed to refund the amount of Rs.5,56,500/- paid in lieu thereof.

The court allowed the application while hearing a bunch of petitions, including a suo motu petition initiated on the issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and treatment provided to patients.

Change in vaccination policy

Changing the earlier vaccination policy, the Central Government has decided to procure vaccines for the State Governments as well, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an address to the nation on June 7 evening. This will be implemented in the coming two weeks.

The Central Government has also decided to give free vaccines for the age group of 18-44 years as well from June 21, the PM said.

It is pertinent to note that this decision comes after the strong criticism from the Supreme Court against the 'liberalized vaccine policy' of the Centre, as per which states get only 25% of the vaccine quota and the free vaccination benefit of the Central Government is restricted only to those aged above 45 years.

The Supreme Court made a prima facie observation that the paid vaccination policy for the age group 18-44 years as prima facie "arbitrary and irrational", as it was this age group that got badly hit during the second wave of the pandemic.

A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat flagged several issues with the vaccination policy and urged the Central Government to revisit the same, by saying that the policy was detrimental to right to life and health.

Several state governments have also been making demands for revision of the vaccine policy.
"We examined the requests of the State Government and to not inconvenience the citizens of the Country, We have decided that Union Government will take over the 25% of the work State Government executed regarding Vaccines", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on June 7.

From June 21 onwards, Union Government will give free vaccines to 18 years+, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

The Centre will make centralised vaccine procurement & ensure vaccine supplies to all states. "75% of vaccination will be free and under the Centre, 25% will be paid and by private hospitals," he said.

Private hospitals can only charge a max of Rs 150 as a service fee, the Prime Minister added.

Related news

Recently, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had directed the Government of India to examine a representation regarding the facility of the waiting list, for necessary modification in the Co-WIN App.

The Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan was hearing a writ petition filed by one Mukesh Dhanraj Wadhwani aggrieved by the system of registration of citizen for vaccination of Corona Virus on Co-WIN application.

Earlier, noting that Madhya Pradesh has not received even half of the promised quantity of the vaccination doses for the month of May 2021, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had asked the Central Government:

"To take upon itself the responsibility of providing required number of vaccination doses to the State by setting up more and more units in all the States with required licence from the local manufacturers, to ramp up the production of the vaccination on war footing."
The Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan also asked the Central Government to itself consider procuring the vaccination doses in sufficient quantity from the manufacturers from outside the country to provide the same to the States, rather than leaving it upon the States to do so.
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