The union government on Thursday has filed for an affidavit in the Apex court stating that it had not statutory authority to ask and direct charitable and private hospitals to give free treatment to the patients who have COVID-19.
“There is no proviso as per the Clinical Establishments (registration and regulation) Act, 2010, where it has been stated that it is binding that private hospitals positioned on public land shall treat the COVID-19 patients free. It is again restated that these kinds of policies might only be defined and executed by the concerned state governments,” the health ministry said in answer to the apex court’s question made on a plea filed by Advocate Sachin Jain.
Acting upon the petition filed by Sachin pointing out that commercial mistreatment of Covid-19 patients, stating the insufficient treatment facilities, a bench of CJI S A Bobde and Justices Hrishikesh Roy and A S Bopanna on 27th may had questioned solicitor general Tushar Mehta as to why private hospitals, which were given at nominal cost or land free by the government, be not made to act in accordance with an executive fiat to admit and treat the Covid-19 patients free of any cost.
The health ministry said “It would not be seen as out of place to point out here that according to the guidelines of the state government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, 10% of IPD and 25% of OPD is to granted free of cost by the private hospitals positioned on public land allotted on allowance rate to economically backward section class of patients. This was executed by the Delhi government in agreement of the order made by the Supreme Court on September 1, 2011.
In Jain’s plea it was mentioned that “with no treatment cost guidelines in place, several private doctors and hospitals are commercially abusing the dilemma of patients with Covid-19 and making money out of health crisis gawking at the nation and its population.”