Private hospitals pulled up for not treating poor patients free

November 12th, 2008 - 10:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up several private hospitals in the capital for not providing free treatment to poor patients - a pre-condition for getting land at subsidised rates.A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar also criticised the Delhi government for failing to take action against such hospitals while government hospitals were flooded by poor patients from all over the country.

The court was hearing a petition filed by an NGO seeking action against the Apollo Hospital for charging poor patients for treatment.

It asked the government and the Apollo Hospital to prepare a detailed report about the amount they charge from a poor patient and from a regular category patient.

The bench also pointed out findings of a committee appointed by it that showed the Apollo Hospital had wrongly claimed it was providing free treatment to poor patients.

The bench directed the committee comprising of S.K. Sarin and Additional Solicitor General Amarendra Sharan to visit the hospital and submit a detailed report by Dec 17, the next date of hearing.

Apollo Hospital, on the other hand, said it is a profit-oriented venture and the poor patients have to bear the cost of medicines.

The court also issued notice to the St. Stephens Hospital, Moolchand hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute for charging fees from the poor patients.

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