The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Apollo Hospital here to also provide medicines and consumables to indoor patients admitted for treatment free of cost under the free treatment quota system for the poor and needy patients.

The hospital is run under a joint venture agreement between the Delhi Government and the Apollo Hospital. According to the agreement, the Government has 26 per cent stake and the Apollo Hospital 25 in the premier health care facility at Sarita Vihar in South Delhi.

The joint venture agreement was signed in 1988. Subsequently, the Government allotted to the hospital 15 acres at a lease rate of Re.1 per annum and also gave Rs.16 crore to it for building construction with the conditions that it would earmark 33 per cent of its total in-patient care capacity to provide free treatment as well as extend free consultancy to 40 per cent of the OPD patients who would visit it daily and are poor and needy.

The hospital formally opened for patients in 1997 with 600 beds. It also earmarked 200 beds out of it for treatment of these patients but it refused to provide medicines and consumables to these patients free. Therefore, these beds were not used for 12 long years.

The High Court directions came on a public interest litigation by advocate Ashok Aggarwal.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A.P. Shah and Justice Manmohan further said that people belonging to BPL category, self-employed, professionals, Class III and IV employees of the Central and the Delhi governments and those recommended by the Delhi Government would be entitled to free treatment under the quota at the hospital.

More In: Delhi