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Fix rates for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals: PIL in Delhi HC

By Sushil Batra | Updated: May 20, 2021 13:12 IST

New Delhi [India], May 20 (ANI): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was moved in the Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking direction to the Centre and Delhi Government regarding fixing the rates for COVID-19 treatment to be charged by private hospitals in NCT of Delhi.
The petitioner, Vivek Aggarwal, a lawyer in Delhi sought direction to respondents to formulate a fresh policy of price regulating the cost of admission and treatment of COVID-19 patients in private hospitals and further direct the private hospitals to publish such rates online and in prominent places inside hospitals.
The hearing in the matter adjourned for May 31, as the concerned bench of Delhi High Court did not assemble on Thursday.
The plea states that several discriminatory practices sprouted in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19 such as preferential allotment of bed to people who possess political power and social influence.
"The common man's right to access the bed has further gone to the abyss. Several patients who are critically ill are having difficulties getting admission to the hospitals because of financial constraints. Many are lying in the corridors and lobby of the hospital premises without any access to proper health and medical attention. It is a grave violation of the fundamental right to equality guaranteed under Article- 14 of the Indian Constitution," the plea read.
It also states that private hospitals are violating the order dated June 20, 2020, by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Health and Family Welfare Department, fixing the rates for COVID related treatment to be charged by them, with the provision that all COVID-19 beds would be at rates given by the Committee subject to the upper limit of 60 per cent of the beds of total hospital bed capacity.
"Several cases have come forward where patients are being charged exorbitant money for getting a bed in a private hospital," the plea read.
The petitioner also sought directions to establish a committee headed by a retired judge of the High Court of Delhi to keep a check on the admission policy of Hospitals, production, supply and usage of drug Remdesivir and Tocilizumab in hospitals and create a database thereof and conduct regular audits to ensure requisite supply is provided to the hospitals in need.
"The mismanagement and myopic viewpoint of the Government has eroded the confidence of the people in the Government and State machinery. The Court can play the role of a catalyst by reminding the State of its duties, and to direct the Government to fix the rate of the private hospital treatment including bed and other services in private hospitals and the services shall be made available to the patients in a particular time frame decided by the hospitals after consultation with the Government. This will reassure the people to continue to having faith in the system so as to revive their confidence," the plea read. (ANI)