The Competition Commission of India on Wednesday extended the scope of its investigation into alleged unfair rates charged by hospitals in and around Delhi to include all super-specialty hospitals.
The commission said that it has been inquiring into unfair practices by private super-specialty hospitals in the national Capital, carried out in violation of Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. After finding initial evidence of such violations, the commission referred the matter to its Director General Nitin Gupta. It decided to widen the scope of investigation after Gupta submitted his report.
“After perusing the material on record, the commission noted that huge profit margins are being earned by sale of products to the locked-in in-patients to the detriment of such patients,” a press release said on Wednesday. The commission said that given its mandate to enforce the Competition Act, it decided to widen the inquiry and investigate the practices of super specialty hospitals across Delhi in respect of healthcare products and services provided to the in-patients.
Specifically, the commission will examine products sold by super-specialty hospitals to their patients which are not urgently required for any medical procedure – products that the patient can buy at lower rates on the open market.
“The commission has directed the director general to complete investigation expeditiously,” the press release said. “By broadening the scope of investigation in the matter, the Commission aims to prevent practices having adverse effect on competition in the tertiary healthcare sector.”