Can Governments Bear the Treatment Expenses of all Covid-19
Madras High Court questioned the Tamil Nadu government yesterday, June 19, can it pay for the COVID 19 treatment charges of private hospitals. With everyday new highs touching in coronavirus infected cases in India and Tamil Nadu, there are more worries about its treatment costs. The court also asked details of the charges of private hospitals for COVID 19 treatment. It ordered the central government guidelines for COVID 19 treatment to state governments to be submitted to the court before June 16.
PIL challenging private hospital charges for COVID 19 patients
Recently a PIL or a public interest litigation petition was filed in the Madras High Court by Peoples’ Rights Protection Center represented by S.Jimraj Milton. He had added only the state government as the respondent to pay for the private hospital bills for COVID 19 patients. Because COVID 19 is a pandemic, as per law, the government should bear the expenses for its treatment.
Madras High Court directions on the PIL
A division bench comprising judges Vineeth Kothari and R. Suresh Kumar heard the PIL again yesterday. As the petition had only the Tamil Nadu government as the respondent, they suo motto or voluntarily added the central government as the additional respondent. The judges heard the arguments by the petitioner’s counsel Balan Haridas and the government pleader V.Jayaprakash Narayanan and the solicitor general. Rajagopal. Then they asked the state and central governments to file the following details within June 16, as the matter is emergent.
- Will, the governments, pay the private hospital bills of COVID 19 patients
- Details of all COVID 19 patients in both government and private hospitals
- Details of the charges that the private hospitals charge for COVID 19 treatment
- Is there any cap fixed on the private hospital treatment charges for COVID 19 patients
- Details of the mechanism on how the patients can lodge complaints on the excessive charges of private hospitals.
- If the government has already put in a mechanism, it has to give the number of complaints and the actions taken against them.