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Hospital Chains Charge Exorbitant Prices Through Abusing Market Dominance: Report

In some hospitals, the room rents exceeded the expenses of 4-star hotels

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found in its investigation that some of India's largest hospital chains demand exorbitant prices for services and products, abusing their dominance in the market, according to a report by Moneycontrol.

 CCI will soon meet to evaluate the responses of chains like Apollo Hospitals, Max Healthcare, Fortis Healthcare, Batra Hospital & Medical Research, Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, and St Stephen's Hospital to charge penalties based on the responses.

 The commission might invoke steep penalties which can go up to 10 per cent of the hospital chains' average turnover in the last three years, the MC added. 

 Apollo's average turnover was Rs 12,206 crore. Fortis Hospitals' average turnover for the last three years was Rs 4,834 crore.

 The higher prices were charged for renting rooms, medicines, medical tests, medical devices, and consumables. As per the report, in some hospitals, the room rents exceeded the expenses of 4-star hotels.

 India's fair-trade regulator has been vigilant over the pharma sector for the past few years. In April 2020, it cautioned businesses against undue leverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and violating competition laws.

 The report added that the investigation and penalties may reduce the prices of medicines and equipment, along with bringing transparency to the healthcare business.

 The hospitals were chosen based on the number of doctors, paramedics, beds, and turnover. These hospitals restricted patients from buying consumables, tests, devices, and medicines from outside.


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