No review of verdict on free service by pvt hospitals

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit dismissed a review petition filed by St Stephen's Hospital Society in New Delhi against the verdict passed on July 9, this year.

The Supreme Court declined to reconsider its judgement which held that asking private and charitable hospitals, built on land given on concessional rates, to provide free treatment to poor patients cannot be called a restriction on the medical profession.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit dismissed a review petition filed by St Stephen's Hospital Society in New Delhi against the verdict passed on July 9, this year.

The court had then said the hospitals nowadays have five-star facilities with an aim to make commercial gains.

They are becoming unaffordable.

The charges are phenomenally high, and at times, unrealistic to the service provided. The dark side of such hospitals can be eliminated only by sharing obligation towards economically weaker sections of the society.

The court had also noted that the benefits of various welfare schemes hardly reach the poor in spite of all efforts and the economic disparity is writ large and still persists.

“The poor cannot afford such treatment and thus in lieu of holding land of government at concessional rate and enjoying huge occupancy benefits, the hospitals can be asked to impart free treatment,” the bench had said.

The top court's judgement had upheld a Delhi government's order issued on February 2, 2012, directing the hospitals which have been provided land have to give free treatment in 25% outpatients and 10% in indoor patients from the economically weaker sections of the society.

The court reminded that the object of medical activity and its professionals also included ensuring proper treatment of the persons from economically weaker sections.

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No review of verdict on free service by pvt hospitals

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