Private hospitals move HC against oxygen price hike

Association term suppliers’ move unethical

The Kerala High Court on Thursday adjourned to June 7 hearing on a writ petition filed by the Kerala Private Hospitals Association seeking a directive to the State government to initiate action against the suppliers of medical oxygen for hiking the product’s price.

The petition said that agencies had all on a sudden hiked the price of medical oxygen and started demanding reimbursement under the head of “COVID mitigating expenses” and “additional transportation and handling expenses.” The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic had already landed the association members dire straits. At a time when the private hospitals were struggling to provide affordable quality care to COVID-19 patients, the hike in the price of medical oxygen was unlawful.

‘Black marketeering’

It was nothing but black marketeering and was an unethical practice. The hike would hamper the uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen. In fact, the supply of medical oxygen was critical and any unethical practice in this regard would invite punishment under provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020. Stringent action should be taken against the suppliers under the provisions of the Act and the Ordinance.

The petitioner also sought directive to the oxygen suppliers not to further increase the price without sanction from the authorities under the Disaster Management Act,2005.

Source: Read Full Article