Court directs Apollo to give free treatment to poor

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Delhi High Court Tuesday directed Apollo Hospital to provide free treatment to poor patients and imposed a fine of Rs.200,000 on it and the Delhi government for not abiding by an earlier court order.

Giving directions to the hospital, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Manmohan asked the hospital to reserve 33 percent in-house beds and 40 percent of the OPD for poor patients.

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“Health right is a fundamental right and no one should be devoid of this,” the court said while hearing the 12-year-old legal battle.

The court also directed the hospital not to charge a single penny from poor patients for medicine and other tests.

The court was hearing a petition filed by an NGO seeking action against the hospital for taking money from poor patients, in contravention of the lease agreement for land allotted to it by the government at concessional rates.

The court also directed the government to start a special referral centre in every government hospital to send poor patients to private hospitals for treatment.

Besides, the government has been asked to appoint a nodal officer of the rank of medical superintendent to monitor the treatment given to poor patients.