Madras High Court: A Division Bench of Dr Vineet Kothari and R. Suresh Kumar, JJ., asked the State Government and Union of India to file status report with regard to overcharging by private hospitals amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

The challenge that has been placed was with regard to Government Order, wherein State Government had directed that the willing patients suffering from COVID-19 disease may receive treatment in private hospitals at their own cost.

On what ground the challenge was placed?

Under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, and Health being the responsibility of the State, the cost of such treatment for COVID disease should be borne by the State only.

Court noted the cases of overcharging in private hospitals on which a judicial cognizance could be taken place.

Thus, in view of the above, Court directed the respondent State as well as the Union of India to file their respective counter regarding the treatment and management of COVID-19 disease in private hospitals, along with the Government hospitals, where free treatment is provided to Covid patients.

Court also directed the State Government and Union of India to give details on the aspects of the cost to be borne for treatment in private hospitals, providing of caps on charges, if any and whether any complaint redressal system for overcharging by private hospitals had been developed by State Government or not.

State Government and Union of India have been giving a weeks time to file their status report and counter with affidavit.

Matter is listed on 16-06-2020. [S. Jimraj Milton v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 1149 , decided on 09-06-2020]

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