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[COVID-19] "No one should be turned away from healthcare institutions if costs are too high", SC gives Centre two weeks to issue directions

The Centre submitted that it had no statutory power under the Clinical Establishments Act to direct private and charitable hospitals to give free treatment to COVID-19 patients.

Debayan Roy

The Supreme Court today observed that patients who cannot afford treatment for COVID-19 should not be turned away from healthcare institutions.

While doing so, the Court asked the Centre to issue directions to states under the Disaster Management Act so that COVID-19 treatment is not unaffordable.

The order was passed by a Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices R Subhash Reddy and AS Bopanna in a petition filed by Advocate Sachin Jain praying for “cost-related regulations” for treatment of COVID-19 patients in private/corporate hospitals.

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