The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to consider bringing in a legislation to balance rights of hospitals and doctors to earn their fees and rights of patients by protecting them from being detained in hospitals for non-payment of bills. While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the alleged practice of hospitals refusing to discharge patients for non-payment of bills, a division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati Dangre asked, “Can the state bring a law to balance these rights of patients with the rights of the hospital?”
The petition was filed by Arun Chhabria, who was allegedly refused discharge by a suburban hospital in 2013. While Chharbria’s case was resolved, the court converted the petition to a PIL in 2014. Chhabria’s lawyer Rui Rodrigues informed the court about a draft Maharashtra Clinical Establishment Registration Act, 2014, which is at the stage of discussion.