The Supreme Court today has asked the Centre to identify Private hospitals where cost effective or free treatment can be provided to COVID 19 patients.
The bench comprising of the Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Sachin Jain, seeking nationwide cost regulation for treatment of Covid-19 patients at private or corporate hospitals.
The petitioner has submitted that the issue requires urgent consideration, as many private hospitals are exploiting patients commercially who are suffering from Covid-19 to make a fortune out of their miseries in national crisis.
Petitioner has urged the Court to direct private hospitals running on public land or running under category of “charitable institutions” to treat Covid-19 patients either pro bono public or on non-profit basis.
The plea also prays that Government should bear cost of Covid-19 treatment for poor or vulnerable at private hospitals and that it should identify “private hospitals engaged in black marketing of essential health services at the hour of national calamity.”
On the previous hearing, the bench had issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs but made it clear that it would not give directions to the Private hospitals without providing them an opportunity of being heard.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Central Government has sought 4 weeks time to file reply.
-India Legal Bureau