Saturday, September 30, 2023

SC To Private Hospitals: Can You Give COVID19 Treatment At Ayushman Bharat Rate?

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The Supreme Court today while hearing a plea seeking cost regulations for treatment of COVID 19 patients at private hospitals inquired whether the Ayushman Bharat Scheme was applicable to every individual getting COVID 19 treatment at hospitals.

Senior Counsel Harish Salve appearing for Healthcare Commission submitted that the Commission is already ensuring that those hospitals that have received land on concessional rates are providing free beds and treatment.

Advocate Sachin Jain, the petitioner submitted that Centre has covered the Ayushman Bharat scheme which is also applicable to private hospitals and the tariff under the Scheme should be made applicable to everybody.

SG tushar Mehta appearing for the Central Government however said that Ayushman Bharat has specified and categorized beneficiaries. All those who cannot afford are covered in this scheme.

Concurring with SG’s submission, Harish Salve submitted that the patients were already  being treated  at subsidized rates.

Sachin Jain however submitted that the Union Government should stand with the citizens and not with corporate hospitals in the crisis situation.

The bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy  has adjourned the matter for two weeks.

The Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana (PMJAY) popularly known as Ayushman Bharat Yojana Scheme is the flagship scheme by the Government of India. It is essentially a health insurance scheme to cater to the poor, lower section of the society and the vulnerable population. The scheme offers financial protection in case of hospitalization due to medical emergencies.

The petitioner thereafter said that the Ayushman Bharat scheme has been decided keeping in view the profitability of the hospitals. Sachin Jain, hospital will charge 50k from one who is not a beneficiary under Ayushmanbharat.

Solicitor General – it’s a scheme devised by the govt with identified categories of beneficiaries. All people who can’t afford are covered by this scheme. We have put in our affidavit how Ayushman Bharat scheme works, the petitioner is saying that the govt is supporting private hospitals but the govt is doing it’s best for the lowest strata of the society.

Harish Salve- Ayushman Bharat is a heavily discounted scheme. Private hospitals revenue is down by 60 to 70 percent. Situation is bad and no one going to hospitals for other diseases.

Mukul Rohatgi- Delhi govt has changed the Gangaram hospital, which is a specialised hospital into a general COVID19 hospital. None of the hospitals are making profits

CJI – that is alright, you’re making a sacrifice for a good cause, are you agree patients charges with Ayushman Bharat rate?

Solicitor General- the scheme is devised by central govt with identified category of those who cannot afford. Petitioner wants those who are not beneficiaries should be getting the benefit under Ayushman scheme.

Petitioner- A person beneficiary under Ayushman bharat scheme, this has been designed keeping in view profitability of the hospital. If a person is governed by this scheme the standard rates apply is 4000 govt pays the hospital. But the hospital charges 50000 from the adjoining patient who is not the beneficiary under the scheme.

Solicitor General- Govt is doing it’s best for lowest strata of society. I am not supporting he calls the petitioner’s statement irresponsible.

Salve- Govt scheme is a heavily discounted schemes. His petition is based on an interview by insurance company saying they have to pay heavy.

CJI- Individual patients should also be helped in these schemes.

Salve- We will charge individuals whatever rates are fixed by insurance companies…cant be given Ayushman scheme benefit.

Harish salve – healthcare fed, have an intervention application. We would like to put it on affidavit. My lords may direct the registry to allow the same.

CJI to SG whatever affidavit you want to file, we will hear you after two weeks.

Salve- Healthcare federations has filed an intervention application.

CJI – yes intervention applications and affidavits will be allowed.

-India Legal Bureau

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