- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
The petition seeks nationwide cost regulation for treatment of COVID-19 patients at private or corporate hospitals.
The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a plea seeking directions to the government to regulate COVID-19 treatment costs at all private and corporate hospitals.
The order was passed by a Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justice Aniruddha Bose.
Petitioner Advocate Sachin Jain, who appeared in-person, stated in his plea that private hospitals were charging around Rs 12 lakh for COVID-19 treatment in some cases.
The petition thus seeks nationwide cost regulation for treatment of COVID-19 patients at private or corporate hospitals.
The plea stated that the issue requires urgent consideration, as many private hospitals are commercially exploiting patients suffering from COVID-19 "to make a fortune out of their miseries in the hour of national crisis”.
“Most of these hospitals only charge exorbitantly for the room rent and PPE kits used by hospital staff,” says the plea.
It has been prayed that the government, in exercise of its powers under Sections 6 and 10 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, has in the recent past, regulated the cost of COVID-19 testing in the private health sector and made it applicable to states and union and territories. Likewise, the government can also regulate the cost of COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals, the plea contends.
The petitioner has also urged the Court to direct private hospitals that have been running on public land or running under the category of "charitable institutions" to treat COVID-19 patients either pro bono publico or on a non-profit basis.
Further, the plea prays that the government bear the cost of COVID-19 treatment for the poor or vulnerable at private hospitals and that it should identify "private hospitals engaged in black marketing of the essential health services at the hour of national calamity.”