Health Department of Haryana Government has suspended licence of one of the three pharmacies of Medanta Hospital (Gurugram) just for a week as symbolic eye-wash punishment for over-charging medicines. It will not at all affect health of big private hospital in any manner because the hospital even during seven-day closure of its one pharmacy will easily manage hospital-working with its other two pharmacies where licences are not suspended.
Such symbolic punishments for big lapses by ultra-rich private medical establishments clearly speak of some big deals for meaningless punishment. An enquiry should be ordered and guilty ones punished for such meaningless punishment to big private medical tycoon. Real punishment could be some directive to sell medicines and other items by all the pharmacies of the hospital without profit for say, one year. Since branded medicines are easily available in markets at discounts ranging from 10-20 per cent with generic medicines having even much more trade-margins, hospitals in general should be directed to sell medicines and other items at a fixed profit-margin rather than at maximum-retail-price (MRP) with proper checks that hospitals may not create new firms of their own to establish medicine-supply done from outside hospitals rather than from their own pharmacies.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)