The High Court (HC) has directed the concerned departments of the government to fix a reasonable price for oxygen cylinders within the next 10 working days to control its price amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim on Monday passed the order after holding a virtual hearing on five writ petitions filed separately seeking its order.
The HC directed the Ministry of Commerce, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) to implement the order on fixing a reasonable price for oxygen cylinders.
The High Court also asked people to lodge complaints at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against private hospitals if they demand unusual charges for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, and also directed the ACC to take appropriate action upon investigating the allegations.
The court directed the Health Ministry and the Director General of the DGHS to submit the probe reports by July 21 on the writs filed over the allegation of refusing to give treatment to patients.
They were also directed to take measures to introduce an online system for filing complaints at the Directorate General of Health Services by patients who are denied treatment, and to ensure Covid-19 testing of patients suffering from complex diseases including cancer within 36-48 hours and to continue their treatment.
Earlier on June 15, the High Court gave an order with 10 directives to the government that includes fixing the oxygen cylinder price, after three writs were filed by five lawyers seeking the directives.
Later on June 16, the Appellate Division Chamber Court upheld a High Court order to fix a reasonable price for oxygen cylinders in order to control the price amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
It also directed the Health Ministry and the DGHS to submit a report before the High Court on June 30 on whether the instructions given by the DGHS to the private hospitals and clinics for the treatment of non-Covid patients are being followed properly, and if not, what kind of action has been taken against those individuals, hospitals and clinics.
A hearing was also held on Monday, July 6 on the report filed by the DGHS.