By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: Amidst the raging pandemic the demand to cap the prices of medicines, various blood tests and Covid test is gaining momentum in Kashmir.
The resurgence of COVID-19 has increased the demand of medicines and other equipment like oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, oxy-meters, flow meters etc. Even the patients have to get their various tests, like CT scan and blood tests done, as the doctors want to ensure that people are not caught in the post Covid complications.
“Medicines and tests cost a fortune. The government needs to put a cap on the prices of the drugs that are prescribed to the Covid patients. Even the Covid tests and other blood tests need to be brought within the reach of a common man as these investigations are must. In the government run hospitals most of the tests are done free of cost but in the private laboratories and hospitals people have to part away with huge amounts,” said Ghulam Qadir of Baghat Barzulla.
He said the cost of oxygen concentrators has almost doubled during the past one month and these machines are not easily available in the market. “The flow meters for oxygen cylinders that used to cost around Rs 1200/ are being sold at double the rate. The government needs to step in and take action against those elements who are encashing the pandemic,” Ghulam Qadir added.
Imtiyaz Ahmed of the same area while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The private laboratories charge people according to their whims and fancies as the people running these centers are aware of the fact that patients who visit them won’t indulge in any sort of bargaining.”
An official said that a “proposal has been moved” to cap the prices as the COVID-19 has turned into a major crisis. “The government run hospitals are overburdened and are not in a position to cater to everyone. The private hospitals are being watched and the rates for the facilities being provided by these institutions will be fixed soon,” he added.
Farooq Khan of Sanat Nagar said, “One can understand that people associated with the medical industry are trying their best to help the people but they need to reduce the profit margins to help the common man. At present everything is shut and every section of the society is facing a financial crunch. We have to extend a helping hand to each other in these times rather than making more and more profits.”