Gujarat HC warns private hospitals against Covid-19 ‘profiteering’

A division bench of the Gujarat High Court, comprising Justice J.B. Pardiwala and Justice Vikram Nath, has directed the state government to keep an eye on the private hospitals and prevent them from profiteering through Covid-19 cases. This came after the previous order of 14 May where the High Court taking suo motu cognisance of the case, decreed that such hospitals can be penalised, if found charging “exorbitant” fee. Cancellation of license of such hospitals was also ordered in case of any violation.

The bench said, “We have observed in our order dated 22nd May 2020 that bound by a sense of duty, responsibility and empathy, it is now salient that the private hospitals step in to deliver adequate health care to their people… the Association should not think of even making profit of one rupee. The private hospitals have the adequate infrastructure and materials and financial resources required to fight this pandemic.”

The Ahmedabad Medical Association said in the court that the private hospitals had already reduced their rates by 30% and the current rates cannot be termed as “exorbitant”. Apart from this verdict, the court also asked the counsel to keep a strict watch on whether the hospitals are abiding by its direction of reserving 50% of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients.

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