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Hospital to treat 18-year-old heart patient for free


New Delhi: The G.B. Pant Hospital Tuesday assured the Delhi High Court that it would provide free treatment to an 18-year-old boy who sought a direction to the hospital not to charge Rs.130,000 for the replacement of his two valves in the heart.

Justice S. Muralidhar disposed of the petition filed by Furkan Ali, who hails from Modi Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, through his father Akbar Ali, a hawker, after accepting an affidavit from the hospital authorities.

“Without prejudice, it is submitted that the petitioner was undergoing free treatment at the hospital. His case was recommended for implant of free valve by the treating doctor. However, the petitioner failed to submit requisite papers along with the application for processing his case,” the affidavit filed by the hospital authorities said.

Ali’s lawyer Ashok Agarwal pleaded before the court that his client was too poor as his earnings were not more than Rs.2,000 per month and that he cannot afford the costly treatment and would die.

He argued that denial by the hospital to provide free treatment to him would be a violation of his client’s fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the constitution and the government is obliged to protect the citizens’ fundamental right.

“It cannot allow violation of this right of a citizen on the pretext of paucity of funds,” argued Agarwal, adding even the hospital, while treating his client earlier, had admitted that it had a scheme for giving free treatment to the poor.

The scheme, however, was later discontinued by the hospital, Agarwal said.