A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by an NGO, The Legal Forum For Women Empowerment for uniforming the rates and fees charged by the Private Nursing Homes and Hospitals, against Government of NCT of Delhi, in Delhi High Court, in front of Honorable Chief Justice D N Patel, and Justice Hari Shankar.
The Writ of Mandamus [which means an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.] was issued against the state,especially to the Directorate of Health Service, to develop public complaint and grievance system against the malpractice in the Private nursing homes and hospitals. A mechanism available online and offline both should be made for the public so that they can register their complaints about the same.
The NGO also directed that, regular audits of health service and prices must be done and checked by the Directorate General Of Health and they must issue directions or notifications for any changes of charges and services in the hospitals and private nursing home. They also requested for any other directions as the court may deem fit to regulate the same.
The court held that the petitioner,i.e. the NGO is looking for uniformity in charges which is not possible in private nursing homes and hospitals,because such prices depends on various factors like the facilities provided by them, the efficiency of the staff ,quick actions in giving the service, and quality of the service provided gto the paitents. Therefore the court came to the conclusion that uniformity in changing the rates of the private nursing homes and hospitals for patients cannot be implemented since such hospitals cannot be equated with respect to the charges required to be paid by the patients.
The nature of the disease and diagnosis,the type of treatment given also varies. Sometimes people with similar diagnosis are also given different type of treatment keeping the age and health in mind.So the charges needs to be varied which depends upon the facilities available with them. Different private nursing homes and hospitals have different type of doctors who has different qualifications.For some diagnosis qualified doctor is required and for some general physician will do.
Hence the court on the above ground dismissed the writ petition.of the NGO.