Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed Apollo Hospital here to also provide medicines and consumables to indoor patients admitted there 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 with the Delhi Government.

According to the agreement, the Government has a 26 per cent stake and Apollo Hospital 25 per cent in the premier health care facility at Sarita Vihar in South Delhi.

Joint venture pact

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 year and also gave Rs.16 crore to it for building construction with the condition 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.

Beds not used

It also earmarked 200 beds out of those for treatment of these patients but it refused to provide free medicines and consumables to these patients.

Therefore, these beds were not used for 12 long years.

The High Court directions on Tuesday 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.