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Delhi HC directs Delhi govt to decide on capping Covid treatment charges at pvt hospitals: ‘Take a balanced view’

The Delhi government Thursday said it has received certain proposals from hospitals. The court said since the suggestions have been received, Delhi’s principal health secretary will examine the same and take an appropriate decision.

The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the Delhi government to take a decision on capping of charges for treating Covid-19 patients in private hospitals and place this on record before it on May 24. It also asked the government to take a balanced view on the issue.

“We understand you want to pass an order in the interest of the people of the city but take a take a view which does not impede the services. It should not be that you give such a raw deal to the hospitals and nursing homes that they break down. It is easy to say ‘if you can’t run, then shut it down’,” the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh told the government.

The court on May 12 had directed the Delhi government to revise an order issued last year for capping charges levied by private hospitals and nursing homes for treatment of Covid patients, after holding deliberations with administrators of a cross-section of health institutes and their associations on the issue of pricing to ensure rationalisation of charges.

The Delhi government Thursday said it has received certain proposals from hospitals. The court said since the suggestions have been received, Delhi’s principal health secretary will examine the same and take an appropriate decision. “We have no doubt that whatever decision is taken would be a balanced decision, keeping in view the interest of all stakeholders including service providers as well as patients,” it added.

Meanwhile, the court Thursday said private hospitals should also provide facilities to accommodate their medical staff serving Covid patients. It said this aspect can be discussed in meetings taking place between government and health institutions. The bench also said hospitals run by municipal corporations and the central government should also provide similar facilities to their health workers. It also asked Delhi Police to file a status report regarding facilities made available by it for its personnel.

The government earlier submitted a list of district-wise facilities being made available by it for accommodating its healthcare staff, including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and support staff. The step has been taken to avoid the risk of their family members contracting the virus.

“Let the GNCTD examine the feasibility of issuing an order under the Disaster Management Act so that such facilities are made available even to health workers serving in private hospitals and nursing homes and those being run by charitable institutions,” said the court.

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