Plea in High Court seeks cap on COVID-19 treatment at Delhi's private hospitals
New Delhi: Raising concern over the high charges being levied upon by private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment, public interest litigation (PIL) filed in Delhi High Court on Tuesday (June 16) sought that the Delhi government be directed to constitute a committee in this regard.
The petition sought that the committee should be constituted to cap the rates levied upon by private hospitals for COVID 19 treatment, services, and PPE kits. It also urged the court that the prices be capped within 7 days of the order.
The petition cited that the states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have already capped prices but the Delhi government has failed to do so. It said that Delhi hasn't exercised its executive powers under the NDMA Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act and that the government should soon use its powers in this direction.
The petition asked the court to set aside the Delhi government's order allowing private hospitals to charge COVID patients as per their scheduled rates, insisting that the orders were in violation of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution.
The PIL also informed the court that though the Delhi government has designated some private hospitals as COVID hospitals and 117 hospitals have been asked to reserve 20% beds for COVID patients, it has allowed them to charge as per scheduled rates, resulting in lack of affordability for treatment in private hospitals.
"Private hospitals have engaged in undue profiteering and charge exorbitant rates for treatment of COVID-19," said the petition, adding that with this exorbitant charging by private hospitals they are no longer an option for treatment for most of the people.