New Delhi: The Supreme Court asked the Delhi government hospitals which are already overcrowded to refer poor patients to private hospitals in Delhi for free treatment, which was finalized by a scheme of the Sheila Dikshit regime.
R V Raveendran a bench of Justices said, Private hospitals will provide them with necessary treatment free of cost and maintain a separate account of the cost incurred”. A bench of Justices said that allowing total free treatment to poor would leave private hospitals bankrupt. A Delhi High Court asked private hospitals to provide treatment to 10% indoor and 25% outdoor patients for free.
Different private hospitals have submitted various schemes to the bench of justices. Dharamshila Hospital told that it was ready to spend 2% % of its turnover on poor patients, while Devki Devi Foundation said it was for providing free bed and secondary level of treatment like free diagnostic tests to poor patients.
The court asked 10 private hospitals, which appealed the court against the High court judgement to implement the direction for free treatment to the poor to submit their scheme to Delhi Government. They asked the government to finalize a scheme with the private hospital within four weeks and submit the same to the court.
The appeal for poor treatment to the poor arose from an agreement between the private hospitals and the government, which agreed to offer land to the private hospitals at cheap rates and as no one was enforcing on the treatment for the poor, an NGO social jurist moved it to the high court.
Ashok Aggarwal, appearing for the PIL petitioner told the bench that most of these private hospitals had not treated the number of poor patients and suggested that the High Court order must be implemented for three months to find out the accountability received by private hospitals.
The court during the last hearing which was on July 5 told that the private hospitals we acting like star hotels and backing away from the promise they made to treat poor which was 25% outdoors and 10% indoor for free of cost. The court said, the hospitals got the land at very cheap rates from the government because of their promise to treat the poor for free. The court told the hospitals to come up with a comprehensive plan within two weeks to give free treatment to poor patients which was agreed or else Delhi Court would vacant stay directing the hospitals not to change anything from the poor.
During the last hearing on July 5, the court had said private hospitals were acting like star hotels and wriggling out from their promise to treat the poor — 25% outdoor and 10% indoor — free of cost. “You got the land at a very cheap rate from the government because of this promise. If you admit a poor patient but ask him to pay for everything, it is not free treatment,” it had said. It had given two weeks to the hospitals to come out with a comprehensive plan to give meaningful free treatment to poor patients under the agreement and if not, then it would vacate stay on Delhi High Court order directing hospitals not to charge a single penny from poor patients.