On 7th July 2021, in the case of Kerala Private Hospitals Association v. State of Kerala, The Kerala High Court issued directions to the State to speed up the process of fixing the transportation cost of Oxygen cylinders and Liquid Medical Oxygen, with compliance with the order given by Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers to fix the price of medical oxygen.
On 25th September 2020, the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers issued the maximum price of Liquid Medical Oxygen (without GST) as Rs. 15.22 per cubic meter and the cost of Oxygen Inhalation cylinder was Rs. 25.71 per cubic meter. This order was passed by the ministry in the light of increase in demand due to spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. The plea filed mentioned that increasing the price of oxygen cylinders will affect the operation of hospitals.
The State duly submitted that the only way to control the prices of oxygen cylinders is to reduce the cost of transportation and by fixing it to normal. The court also agreed with the State and thus directed to speed up the process of fixing up the cost of transportation of oxygen cylinders and the court also directed the state to form a mechanism to ensure compliance of the said order and submit the report of the same in 2 weeks.
– Animesh Raizada, Intern, POSHequili