Recently, the Supreme Court had directed 40 private, state-of-the-art multi-specialty hospitals in Delhi to provide free treatment to poor patients without any exception and for any disease or ailment.
A bench of Justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik asked these private hospitals, which had received land at concessional rates from the government, to reserve 10 per cent of their inpatient department (IPD) capacity and 25 per cent of OPD for free treatment of poor patients.
Though 27 private hospitals had fallen in line, 10 hospitals had challenged a Delhi High Court order asking them to provide free treatment to poor patients. The court dismissed all the petitions.
Delhi government’s health department presented before the court bills of poor patients running to over Rs 1 lakh being borne by small super-specialty hospitals like National Heart Institute.