July 10, 2018:
On Monday, Supreme Court directed Private Hospitals in New Delhi, which were given land at concessional rates, to provide free treatment to people from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
Apex Court Bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice S Abdul Nazeer expounded that any violation of agreement between Government and Private Hospitals of reserving 10% of beds and 25% of the outpatient clinics for poor patients will be treated as contempt of court.
A 2007 judgment by Delhi HC has stated that,”Hospitals had to pay fines for earning profits on beds that had to be reserved for the poor”
Social Jurist Ashok Agarwal, who is Petitioner in the case stated that Moolchand and the others went to the court and said that they would not follow the reservation norms as it was not a part of the initial land deal and it was retrospectively added by the government. This petition challenges the HC decision allowing them not to reserve beds for the poor.
Judgment will affect four hospitals Moolchand, St Stephen’s, Sitaram Bharatia , and Rockland that had contested giving free beds to EWS patients.
He further added that,“Apart from that, BL Kapur hospital and Rajiv Gandhi cancer hospital which are also on subsidised government land will have to follow the 10% reservation in the wards and 25% in the out-patient clinics”.
All the six hospitals together will increase number of reserved beds for patients from the economically weaker sections by around 250. Currently, nearly 700 beds are reserved under the scheme.
Source Hindustan Times