COMPAT by its order dated March 1, 2016 has set-aside the
decision of CCI whereby CCI has refused to order investigation
against the Director General Health Services (DGHS) for
discriminating against National Accreditation Board for Hospitals
and healthcare providers (NABH) accredited and non-NABH accredited
hospitals under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) for
government employees managed by the Union Ministry of Health &
Family Welfare. The case has now been referred for re-consideration
by the CCI.
In the Information filed by the Wing Cdr. (Retd.) Dr. Biswanath
Prasad Singh, It was alleged that the DGHS has issued an office
memorandum whereby the letter authorizes an extra 15% payment to
NABH accredited hospitals as opposed to the non-NABH hospitals from
the contributory health service schemes under the CGHS . It was
alleged that DGHS, who is in a dominant position, is abusing its
dominance and thereby thwarting competition among hospitals in the
manner of empanelment under the CGHS. It is not providing a level
playing field and thereby discriminating against non-accredited
The CCI held that the activities of DGHS cannot be covered under
the definition of 'enterprise' within the Act because it is
not directly engaged in any economic and commercial activities. Its
role is limited to control and regulation of the healthcare system
in the country. Hence, according to CCI, its conduct could not be
investigated for any abuse of dominance under the Act and the case
was closed forthwith.
The COMPAT considered that the definition of
'enterprise' within Section 2(h) of the Act covers
Government Departments and the only exclusion provided is relating
to sovereign functions, as well as activities covered by the
departments of Central Government dealing with atomic energy,
currency, defence and space.
It can be clearly seen that CGHS is not just a facilitative
mechanism but it also provides healthcare facilities by itself in
the out-patient departments. In cases which require hospitalization
or further specialized care, references are made to hospitals which
are empanelled for the purpose. It is thus amply clear by its own
admission that Respondent No.1 is not just a facilitator for its
target group to seek healthcare in empanelled hospitals but itself
provides healthcare in its 273 allopathic dispensaries, 19
polyclinics, 73 labs and 85 Ayush hospitals.
Thus, the COMPAT held the DGHS as an 'enterprise' and
remitted the matter back to the CCI for reconsideration as to
whether a case for investigation is made out or not. (Source:
COMPAT Order dated March 01, 2016.For full text see COMPAT
(Source: COMPAT Order dated March 1, 2016. For full text see
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