Intervenor Application filed in the Patna High Court for regulating the price of ambulance and emergency medical services during the pandemic

Mrityunjay Kumar Vs. State of Bihar & Others IA No. 4/ 21 in CWJC 353/2021 | Patna High Court | Status: Pending | |

An Intervenor Application (IA) has been filed by Mrityunjay Kumar, who is an Advocate and a Social Activist in Bihar through the team of Advocates of the Human Rights Law Network, Patna in the ongoing case CWJC 353/2021 Shivani Kaushik Vs The state of Bihar and Ors. to regulate the price of Ambulance and essential medical services in the state during the second wave of COVID-19. On March 29, 2020, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Directorate general of Health Services issued a detailed SOP to increase the capacity of Ambulances in the district for transportation of covid patients and the protocol which need to be followed. Thereafter on September 11, 2020, the Supreme Court validated that the SOP issued by the Ministry need to be followed along with the mentioned guidelines to increase the number of ambulances and transportation of covid patients to hospitals irrespective of social status. On April 21, 2021 a news report was published in Dainik Jagran pertaining to the inflated cost of the ambulances in the state. Further, April 22,2021 another news report was published by ZEE news Bihar depicting lack of oxygen facility in the private ambulances and the way the drivers try to extort money based on unreasonable charges and the dire situations of the patients. Based on the publication of above reports, detailed SOP issued by the ministry and on various judicial precedents, it is evident that the respondents did not abide by the strict compliance of SOP, did not frame rules regarding price fixation, did not took any action to ensure available and affordable ambulance services and did not sought any effective remedy to the covid patients in the state. There is a need of compulsory compliance of the Standard Operating Procedure by the state issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Imposing price fixation and ceiling limit on the medical essentials and lifesaving drugs, medicines, injections, oxygen concentrators etc., and pharma companies to ramp up production of drugs. Adequate supply of oxygen to the covid patients, ambulance service (private and public) for the transportation of patients, facility of required oxygen in the ambulances. With these prayers, the IA has been filed and is pending as of now.