Kerala HC asks response from state govt on plea seeking to ensure free treatment of COVID patients in state

ANI
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Kochi (Kerala) [India], April 30 (ANI): Hearing a Public Interst Litigation (PIL) seeking directions for the state government over medical expenses charged by private hospitals in Kerala, the High Court on Friday directed the state government to take a decision into the matter and sought its response by May 4.

The High Court today heard the plea filed by Advocate Sabu Thomas in which he pleaded for a direction to direct the state to re-fix tariff for the private hospital/nursing homes for the treatment of COVID-19 patients including charges of laboratories and Diagnostic Centers.

A bench consisting of Justice Devan Ramachandran and MR Anitha considered the petition seeking to regulate the exorbitant charges fixed by private hospitals for treatment in Kerala.

The High Court observed that the expense for Covid treatment in the private hospitals in the state is very high making the pandemic situation even worse. The medical expenses charged by private hospitals are alarming high than the intensity of the disease.

Court directed the state government to take a decision and file a statement on May 4.

"The state has a role to control the treatment charges in private hospitals," the Court said in its order. It also added that the spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the state is mind-boggling and the situation is far grave.

"We made the observations on the basis of the trustworthy information collected from people who faced financial crisis after getting COVID treatment from private hospitals," the bench of the court mentioned.

Apart from the directions to the state to re-fix tariff for the private hospital/nursing homes for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, the pleas also sought direction to ensure free treatment of the coronavirus patients below poverty line in both government and private hospitals as well as to set in place an arrangement for setting up temporary hospitals facilities in the state to treat the patients with basic symptoms of Covid-19.

It further sought direction to the state government, Director of Health Services and the ICMR to display availability of normal beds, ICUs and Ventilator facility in all government, private hospitals and nursing homes on a real-time basis and to ensure the adequate, continuous and regular supply of Oxygen to the hospitals in the state. (ANI)