Supreme Court for free treatment of poor at private hospitals

No one for us
No one for us – Photo By Setu Chakrabarty

By- Correspondent | Date- August 26, 2011


In a significant directive, the Supreme Court of India yesterday directed the private hospitals in Delhi to allocate 25% of their out-patient department capacity and 10% in patient department capacity for free treatment of poor and the needy.

It also asked the Delhi government to come up with a workable scheme for the 27 city private hospitals to provide free treatment to poor patients which they are obliged to in exchange for getting land at concessional rates. Mentionable that, under this scheme the private hospitals are to provide free treatment to patients from weaker sections at 10 percent of the hospital bed-strength.

The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik issued the direction when Delhi government’s claim that 27 private hospitals were providing complete treatment to poor patients was disputed by Dharamshila Cancer hospital. The court also asked the Delhi government not to delay in implementing a scheme in this regard and also to appoint a nodal officer who would direct the poor patients to private hospitals for free treatment.

This directive has come as welcome news to the poor and the needy. Although the margin of only 10% bed strength free treatment to the poor can be contested as too low, this can be considered as first step. The social activists and different NGOs working for the poorer sections of the society have welcomed the decision.

6 Responses to "Supreme Court for free treatment of poor at private hospitals"

  1. Pradeep Kumar  August 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM


  2. Ramesh Haridas Radia  August 26, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    A very good common man benefit directives from the SC.I welcome the directives.

  3. IIT PhD  August 26, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    A good move indeed from the SC, never late than never. But, I have a few serious concerns. One, how poor is too poor? I have studied in a premier inst. where education is free for poor with certain level of merit. One “poor” student, I know flashed designer clothing, watches, laptops and had a free education since he was “poor”. I fear the likely to happen here too. Second, how good a treatment will the poor and needy recieve for free? Will the money mongers really care? Even after paying monsterous sums patients get hell of a treatment at many hospitals, what about those who are treated for free. Does SC of India notice the unscrupulous doctors and their neglect for patients? Third, why does the GOI give land at concessional rates to these money mongers? Is there a scam too? Why does not the SC of India direct the Govt. hospitals to function properly? Fourth, 10%, 20%, 25% are most plauisibly numbers, are the actual number of beds, facilities etc. accyrately mentioned on hospital licences? Fifth, when the GOI imposes a 10% service tax on cashless hospitalisation, where was SC of India? When drug prices, including basic drugs and life saving drugs, are at a mammoth peak, and I notice an increment in the drug prices almost every month, is the SC of India noticing? I doubt how an efficient (by means of cost and value) medical system shall prevail in India with the corrupt people in place.

  4. Omesh  August 26, 2011 at 02:57 PM

    Its a historic decision. But hospitals have become big business houses these days, they will inturn charge this to the rich. Where will middle class will go?

  5. Suyash Sahu  August 26, 2011 at 04:53 PM

    Supreme Court directives will be a Milestone for providing other facilities to the poors and downtrodden people of the country.A judicious initiative by the Highest Court.

  6. Ashutosh  August 26, 2011 at 05:17 PM

    This is one of the best decision taken by SC. We welcome such move and hope in near future same move will be taken for studing in medical and eng. college. There should be 10% free seat for weeker section. My thanks to Raveendran for such a great move.


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