Delhi high court on Friday accused All India Institute of Medical Sciences administration of foiling voluntary organisations' plans to supply medicines at subsidised rates to the poor in favour of private pharmaceutical shops.
"We cannot lose sight of the fact that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), surrounded by commercial chemical shops, would not like medicines to be available at cheaper rates to under-privileged. The objective could not be to serve commercial needs but to serve poor patients who come to AIIMS at a time when cost of medicines so high," the judge stated.
A bench, headed by justice SK Kaul, quashed a tender floated by the hospital administration inviting applications to set up medical shops that according to it had deliberately clauses inserted taht could not be satisfied by charity organisations.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Surekha Public Charity Trust, which alleged that they were not being given space inside the hospital complex to set up a counter to supply medicines at subsidised rates to poor.
The trust said it also could not participate in the tender, as it said the applicant must have experience of operating a pharmacy in 300 bed hospitals and the bank guarantee also was hiked from R10 lakh to R50 lakh for any applicant, which the trust could not afford.
"If space can be allotted to existing barber shops, tailor shops and beauty parlours, certainly space can be allotted for such charitable purpose," the court said.