Govt proposes to cap profit on drugs, consumables at 50%

Proposal a part of draft advisory prepared by Delhi govt’s expert panel on health

NEW DELHI: The profit per cent on medicines and consumables at private hospitals and nursing homes in the city has been proposed to be capped at 50 in a draft advisory, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said here on Monday.
"Any patient cannot be compelled to purchase medicines from hospital's chemist store," the advisory draft states, according to which the sale price of medicines and consumables could be a maximum of 50 per cent more than the purchase price, or it could be the MRP, whichever is lower.
The draft advisory proposed by the Delhi government further states that private hospitals in the Capital "cannot hold hostage" bodies of patients, who have died during treatment there, even if families are unable to pay the due bills before the last rites.
Jain, however, said that the proposal does not imply that the bills would be waived and hospitals can take legal action in case the payments are not made later by the families.
"Body of any deceased patient cannot be forcibly withheld by a hospital and denied to the family for want of payment of due bills.
"There has to be dignity in death. A body cannot be held hostage just for bills. After death, a body belongs to the society, and final rites must be performed," he said at a press conference here on Monday.
The draft advisory has been prepared on the basis of recommendations of a nine-member expert panel, headed by Director-General of Health Services Kirti Bhushan, which was set up by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government on December 13 last year.
The panel was set up after allegations of excessive charges and unfair employment practices by a few private facilities were reported.
"The draft has been put in public domain, inviting suggestions and objections for a period of 30 days. After that, we will implement the policy with revisions," Jain said.
The Minister added that the draft also proposes that doctors at private hospitals and nursing homes should preferably only prescribe drugs from the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) list and patients should be consulted before administering drugs in the non-NLEM category.
The National List of Essential Medicines of India, 2011, is a list of medicines, prepared by the Union Ministry of Health, which are considered essential in India.
"The draft advisory would be implemented by amending the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, and eventually, it would mean that a private hospital or a nursing home could lose its licence to operate in Delhi, in case it violates these norms," Jain said.
The expert panel appointed by the Delhi government include then Indian Medical Association president Dr KK Aggarwal, Delhi Medical Council president Dr Arun Gupta, former president of Delhi Medical Association Dr RK Gupta, and other experts and senior bureaucrats.
Next Story
Share it