Delhi HC directs action against illegal health service aggregators
The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre and the Delhi government to act against the online health service aggregators who are operating illegally or in violation of the law and collecting diagnostic samples including Covid-19.
 
"We direct the authorities that if there is any illegal health service aggregator working in violation of law, action shall be taken against them after giving proper hearing before the concerned authorities," said a division bench of the High Court presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.
 
The observations came in while the court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a ban on the alleged collection of diagnostic samples by online health service aggregators for testing of COVID-19 infection, posing as "medical diagnostic laboratories".
 
The petition filed by Rohit Jain, a practicing pathologist by profession in Jaipur, through advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi sought direction to issue guidelines for registration and minimum standards for sample collection centers operated by online aggregators.
 
Jain in his petition further sought ban on the illegal online health service aggregators which are not registered under Clinical Establishment (Registration & Regulation) Act 2010 or under any other regulations and are running without any medico legal liability for collecting and testing the patient samples for diagnosis.
 
It further claimed that a large number of unauthorized pathological labs are being run by under-qualified technicians who are providing totally unscientific diagnostic test reports rendering the lives of common and innocent citizens vulnerable.
 
The petitioner further alleges that many of the online health service aggregators are also not following the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 for proper disposal of bio-medical waste.
 
"The illegal and fake online health service aggregators are not registered with state pollution control board or any pollution control committee as prescribed under the law," the petition said further.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Beware of fake anti-Covid drug ads: Experts
    With India crossing 18 lakh cases in seven months, fake drugs to fight the coronavirus abound in the market, their advertisements cover all spaces of social media platforms leading health experts to caution public against claims of these immunity-boosting products.
     
    There is a surge in the number of fake drugs both on retail and online outlets, said Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant, Respiratory, Critical care & Sleep Disorder, Institutes of Critical Care, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi on Tuesday.
     
    These days people are hearing all the time about Covid-19 through media and social media, and all this amid the new normal and still ongoing partial lockdown is causing panic. With online being the new work space it is being targetted to reach the audience.
     
    "Taking advantage of this panic, many therapies and immune-boosting medicines are now being peddled in the market and that too rampantly without understanding its efficacy or learning about its side effects," he told IANS.
     
    The doctor stressed that it is important for the public to understand that at present, there is no medicine available. Scientists do not have a cure or vaccine to prevent the virus. So if anybody is making any such claims its totally baseless.
     
    "Also, people are reading stuff about home remedies like drinking Kadha, hot water and others as a treatment for the coronavirus, which is absolutely untrue," he added.
     
    "These home remedies are effective for other viral illness for only symptomatic relief measures and thus, cannot protect us from Covid-19," Modi Informed.
     
    Just days back yoga guru Ramdev launched 'Coronil' claiming that it can cure coronavirus. However, the Ayush Ministry immediately put an end to it, permitting Patanjali only to sell Coronil as long as it was advertised as an immunity booster, and not a 'coronavirus cure'.
     
    According to Dr Vijay Dutta, Consultant, Internal Medicine for Respiratory Disease at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi, fake drugs that claim to help you prevent coronavirus infection can be harmful for overall health.
     
    "At present, there is no remedy to coronavirus that may prevent infection other than using masks in public, maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing. Do not fall for any product that claims to prevent or cure the infection, including fake sanitizers or masks," Dutta told IANS.
     
    "In the recent past, fake sanitizers have been reported to cause skin infections. Also, keep an eye on credible news outlets to learn about the scientific development around vaccine -- any significant development will be discussed in detail," he said.
     
    Do not buy drugs or treatments available on social media as fake products are now rampant on social media platforms.
     
    Consult with your doctor before using any such products, the expert suggested.
     
    Speaking to IANS, Dr (Col.) Ranga Rao, Chairman, Paras Cancer Centre, Paras Hospitals in Gurugram, said that "all must follow the guidelines given by the World Health Organization (WHO) and must safeguard themselves from viruses like Covid-19".
     
    Recently, health experts also warned against cheap personal protection equipment (PPE) suits or hazmat suits that have found their way into Indian markets.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
     
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    COMMENTS

    m.prabhu.shankar

    1 month ago

    As per your another article (https://www.moneylife.in/article/nifty-sensex-may-log-in-more-gains-tuesday-closing-report/61111.html) FluGuard (Favipiravir 200 mg) by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries at Rs 35 per tablet, for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in India is approved right ? Why are you saying that there are no drugs approved in the market. Creates confusion. Please clarify to the general public.

    Ramesh Popat

    1 month ago

    so immunity has no role in prevention? contradictory claims
    confuse people, particularly vulnerable seniors.

    How a $ 175 COVID-19 Test Led to $ 2,479 in Charges
    A global pandemic ravaging America is no time to forget the first rule of American health care: There is no set price. One out-of-network medical provider in Texas seeks permission from patients to charge fees as high as six-figures to their insurance.
     
    As she waited for the results of her rapid COVID-19 test, Rachel de Cordova sat in her car and read through a stack of documents given to her by SignatureCare Emergency Center.
     
    Without de Cordova leaving her car, the staff at the freestanding emergency room near her home in Houston had checked her blood pressure, pulse and temperature during the July 21 appointment. She had been suffering sinus stuffiness and a headache, so she handed them her insurance card to pay for the $175 rapid-response drive-thru test. Then they stuck a swab deep into her nasal cavity to obtain a specimen.
     
    De Cordova is an attorney who specializes in civil litigation defense and maritime law. She cringes when she’s asked to sign away her rights and scrutinizes the fine print. The documents she had been given included disclosures required by recent laws in Texas that try to rein in the billing practices of stand-alone emergency centers like SignatureCare. One said that while the facility would submit its bill to insurance plans, it doesn’t have contractual relationships with them, meaning the care would be considered out-of-network. Patients are responsible for any charges not covered by their plan, it said, as well as any copayment, deductible or coinsurance.
     
    The more she read, the more annoyed de Cordova became. SignatureCare charges a “facility fee” for treatment, the document said, ranging “between five hundred dollars and one hundred thousand dollars.” Another charge, the “observation fee,” could range from $1,000 to $100,000.
     
    De Cordova didn’t think her fees for the test could rise into the six figures. But SignatureCare was giving itself leeway to charge almost any amount to her insurance plan — and she could be on the hook. She knew she couldn’t sign the document. But that created a problem: She still needed to get her test results.
     
    Even in a public health emergency, what could be considered the first rule of American health care is still in effect: There is no set price. Medical providers often inflate their charges and then give discounts to insurance plans that sign contracts with them. Out-of-network insurers and their members are often left to pay the full tab or whatever discount they can negotiate after the fact.
     
     
    The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, includes a provision that says insurers must pay for an out-of-network COVID-19 test at the price the testing facility lists on its website.
     
    But it sets no maximum for the cost of the tests. Insurance representatives told ProPublica that the charge for a COVID-19 test in Texas can range from less than $100 to thousands of dollars. Health plans are generally waiving out-of-pocket costs for all related COVID-19 treatment, insurance representatives said. Some costs may be passed on to the patient, depending on their coverage and the circumstances. Continue Reading
     
    This article is co-published with The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan local newsroom that informs and engages with Texans. Sign up for The Brief weekly to get up to speed on their essential coverage of Texas issues.
     
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