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MoH&FW issues advisory on illegal online health service aggregators

Informs states to investigate matters with an objective to prevent any kind of violation (civil or criminal/cyber or otherwise) of applicable laws

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) while pointing out to the recent court case titled Dr Rohit Jain versus Sh Room No Vijay Kumar Dev & ors, called for a time-bound action plan as per the applicable laws for regulating such online health service aggregators, and the related service provider.

According to a letter issued by Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, MoH&FW, the Department of Home of the concerned state has been requested to investigate such matters with an objective to prevent any kind of violation (civil or criminal/cyber or otherwise) of applicable laws. The letter also requested that an action taken report may be sent to the health department on a priority basis.

The High Court of Delhi had recently directed the ‘concerned authorities’ to initiate action against any illegal online health service aggregators operating in Delhi in violation of the ‘applicable laws’, including the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulations) Act, 2010, if applicable.

Jain, in his plea, contends that there is lack of regulations to control online health service aggregators and their “unfettered operation” through online websites is causing confusion among the general public about their legitimacy and legality.

The petition further claims that many online health service aggregators are operating illegally as they are neither accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) nor approved by ICMR or any other regulatory body.

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