Petition against State's effort to corporatize healthcare services (Setting up Dialysis units in Goa)


Case title: Dr.Venkatesh vs State of Goa and Ors Synopsis: The petition came to be filed before the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay at Goa, challenging the Tender floated by the Government of Goa as represented by the Directorate of Health Services, inviting service providers to participate in the tendering process for setting up of Dialysis units in 4 areas of the state of Goa. Two of which included areas in which the Petitioner was already operating Dialysis units, under a prior contract and was providing the services with no cost to patients. The main contention raised to challenge the said tender was that the tender floated was supportive only of a large corporation and suggested at corporatizing government provided healthcare. Furthermore, earlier tenders floated by the government were based on the model of “zero cost” to patients however the current tender floated, remain silent on the charges for certain essentials required during dialysis and thus pushing the burden onto the patient. The tender further was not competitive in many aspects and thus reduced the scope of many service providers from participating in the same and was suggestive of being tailor-made only for certain service providers. Status: The Petitioners urged for a stay of the tender as the same was at the final stage of the tender process i.e the financial bid. That the Hon’ble High Court was granted a stay to the extent of the areas in which the petitioner carries on his activities. Thereafter the said petition came to be admitted, however, the stay was vacated by the High Court. This was thereafter reinstated through a petition in the Supreme Court. Holding (Summary of the judgment): presently there exist a stay on the proceeding with the tender to the extent of the units managed by the petitioner, the petition stands admitted with the findings that prima facie there existed arguable issues to be examined whether the terms of the tender, specifically, the criteria of the turnover would create a monopoly.