No More Free Treatment at Private Hospitals: HC’s Setback for the Poor

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 06, 2014

Delhi High Court DecisionIn a recent setback to many poor patients in the capital, the Delhi High Court on Monday crushed a decision of the Union Government which had ordered the private hospitals to give free treatment to poor patients even if the Land Allocation Agreement signed between the government and the hospital does not hold any such provision.

The Delhi Court bench said ``Land and Development Office order dated 22.2.12 , the impugned letters from the GNCT 24.5.12, 28.6.12, 7.06.12...are quashed’’.
Also, the bench added ``the court is also additionally of the opinion that the allotment letters and lease deeds being conclusive on the rights and obligation of the parties, further directions through the impugned order imposed unilaterally, would be justified only if the governing statute or even the conditions of lease deeds enable such change. In the present case, however, what the government is seeking to achieve is untenable and unauthorised alterations of concluded contracts with altogether different hospitals and enjoyment of benefits arising from them’’.

Ashok Agarwal, activist lawyer, who was dissatisfied by the judgment said he would challenge the verdict given by High Court and would file a petition in the Supreme Court. It was Agarwal’s petition which had made the High Court to give orders to private hospitals to provide free treatment to poor patients earlier in 2007.

The verdict passed by a bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice R.V. Easwar will prove to be fruitful for hospitals like St. Stephen’s Moolchand, Sitaram Bhartiya and Foundation for Applied Research and few others.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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