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Ban unregistered online health service aggregators from collecting samples: PIL in Delhi HC

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By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], Aug 4 (ANI): A public interest litigation (PIL) was moved in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking directions to the Central government, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Delhi government to immediately ban unregistered online health service aggregators from collecting diagnostic samples, including those for COVID-19 tests.
The PIL, slated to come up for hearing before the High Court tomorrow, claimed that these online health service aggregators are misrepresenting themselves as medical diagnostic laboratories thereby posing a threat to the life and safety of the common people.
It sought directions to issue guidelines for registration and minimum standards for sample collection centres operated by online aggregators including the minimum qualification for taking samples by the representatives of the aggregators.
The plea, filed by Jaipur-based pathologist Rohit Jain through advocate Shashank Dev Sudhi, sought to ban the online health service aggregators, which are not registered under Clinical Establishment (Registration & Regulation) Act 2010 or under any other regulations, and do not have any medico-legal liability for collecting and testing the patient samples for diagnosis.
“A large number of un-authorised pathological labs is being run by under qualified technicians who are providing totally unscientific diagnostic test reports rendering the lives of common and innocent citizen vulnerable to the loss of life, based on the false and fake diagnostic test reports across the NCT of Delhi,” the plea said.
It submitted that the lack of regulations for online health service aggregators and its unfettered operation through online websites is causing confusion about their legitimacy and legality.
The common people are consequently constrained to fall victim on account of subsidised rates and prices of diagnostic test reports being offered by illegal and fake online aggregators, the plea said.
The plea also alleged that these online health service aggregators are involved in illegal activities of testing COVID-19 without any legal authority and are acting contrary to the ICMR guidelines.
It also mentioned that the online health service aggregators are also not following the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, issued by the Central government for proper disposal of bio-medical waste.
“Several illegal online health service aggregators neither are accredited by NABL nor approved by ICMR or with any other regulatory body but these aggregators are claiming to have valid authority to collect the diagnostic test samples from door to door,” the plea said.
It said that running of such “illegal” sample collection and diagnostic services are denying the right to life which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. (ANI)

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