Kerala HC for takeover of 50% beds of private hospitals

A COVID-19 facility being readied at a private hall as cases surge, in Kochi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has suggested that the government take over 50% of the beds of all private hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The Bench on Thursday also suggested setting up a single common toll-free number to enable the patients get medical assistance and information about hospitals beds with oxygen and ventilators etc.

The court suggested that a patient management system to deal with different kinds of COVID patients be put in place.

The Bench comprising Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice Kauser Edappagath made these suggestions when a public interest litigation seeking to regulate charges for COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals came up for hearing.

The court made it clear that three parameters were non-negotiable; non-discriminatory access to all public health facilities, adequate medical treatment, and affordable charges for medical treatment. They were part of the constitutionally guaranteed right to health under Article 21.

State Attorney K.V. Sohan submitted that the government would fix charges for COVID treatment in private hospitals within three days after holding one more round of talks with representatives of private hospital managements. A consensus could not be arrived at the meetings held earlier with the management representatives.

The authority for examining complaints of overcharging by private hospitals in each district would be designated and an appellate authority at the State-level would also be designated.

The court asked the State Attorney to consider the court’s suggestions at the discussion to be held with the private hospital managements and take a policy decision on these issues.

The court posted the petition for further hearing on May 10.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 12:14:02 AM |

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