The Bombay High Court on Wednesday heard a petition seeking to set aside the state government’s May 21 notification stipulating taking over 80 per cent beds in private hospitals and nursing homes across the state. The petitioner has also sought free-of-cost Covid-19 treatment at all hospitals, including private institutions, across Maharashtra.
The plea filed by educationist and social worker Sagar Jondhale, through advocate Anand Jondhale, said the rates of private hospitals would amount to a bill of nearly Rs 1 lakh to a Covid-19 patient admitted at a general ward of any hospital in the state. It also stated that the notification had wrongly permitted private hospitals to charge separately for pharmacy and pathology services.
“Even if minimum rates are charged as per the notification, (the hospital) bill would not be less than Rs1 lakh to Rs75,000 for a general ward. Taking advantage of the situation, the private hospitals will charge exorbitantly and the general hospitals will behave no differently. And, therefore, poor citizens of the state will not be able to avail treatment,” Jondhale argued.
Seeking to declare the May 21 notification null and void, the petitioner sought a direction to the state government to provide free-of-cost Covid-19 treatment to all citizens in all hospitals, including private institutions, except to those who are covered by insurance schemes.
The plea also sought from the state to monitor the implementation of the guidelines issued to hospitals across Maharashtra.
The high court will also hear the state and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s response on a plea filed by Kurla Resident Sarika Singh, who claimed that private hospitals are not admitting Covid-19 patients and charging exorbitant fee from patients by taking advantage of the lockdown.
The court is likely to hear both the pleas together Friday.
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