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Uniform RTPCR, RAT Rates; ICU Control Rooms; Guidelines On Mucormycosis: Punjab and Haryana High Court Issues Directions

Nupur Thapliyal
27 May 2021 4:28 PM GMT
Uniform RTPCR, RAT Rates; ICU Control Rooms; Guidelines On Mucormycosis: Punjab and Haryana High Court Issues Directions
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued slew of directions on the aspects concerning uniformity in rates of RAT and RTPCR in States including Punjab, Haryana and UT 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 comprising...

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued slew of directions on the aspects concerning uniformity in rates of RAT and RTPCR in States including Punjab, Haryana and UT 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 comprising of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh issued the following directions:

- The rates for RAT and RT-PCR tests 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 U.T. Chandigarh need to reconsider the rates prescribed and act accordingly.

- Admittedly, U.T. Chandigarh has reduced the rates for HRCT (chest) charged by the private diagnostic centres to `1800/- which we find is reasonable. We hope and trust that State of Punjab and State of Haryana shall impress upon private diagnostic centres situated in their respective jurisdictions to reduce the rates for HRCT (chest) on the similar lines.

- We also find that the ICU Control Rooms are a necessity 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 inquires. We, thus feel that State Government(s) need to issue necessary directions in this regard on the analogy of PGIMER, Chandigarh and other reputed institutions.

- As regards the issue of ventilators, counsel for the U.T. 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 U.T. Chandigarh or State of Haryana in this regard, same shall also be considered forthwith and 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 UOI for Screening, Diagnosis & Management of Mucormycosis be examined by all the States and necessary steps be taken.

- Lastly this court shall be failing in its duty if it does not recognise the work done by front line 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 crises created by covid-19 which this court shall examine at the appropriate stage.

The development came after the Court was apprised about variety of issues by amicus curiae 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 occasion.

The Court was also informed by Advocate Anupam Gupta that commendable efforts had been made by all the three States for reduction of rates of various tests, CT scan and medicines and have also initiate action against the hospitals who have overcharged the same. He further submitted before the Court that hospitals ought to have an ICU Control Room in order to ensure that relatives of the patients remain in regular touch with them and are aware of their medical condition.

The Court will now hear the matter tomorrow.

During the previous course of hearing, the Court had sought assistance of States of Punjab, Haryana and UT of Chandigarh on the steps to curb the spread of black fungus after expressing concern regarding preventive steps. 

The Bench had also directed that the U.T. of Chandigarh may impress upon the private diagnostic centers to reduced price of HRCT test to Rs. 1800.

Title: Rishi v. State of Haryana & Ors.

Click Here To Read Order

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