SC Asks Private Hospitals: Ready To Provide COVID-19 Treatment At Ayushman Bharat Rate?

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked private hospitals if they are ready to treat COVID-19 at the charges fixed under the government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.A. Bobde and also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, said the top court is not asking all private hospitals to provide free treatment to a certain number of COVID-19 patients. The apex court iterated that it is asking only those private hospitals which have been given land at concessional rates by the government to treat a certain number of coronavirus-infected patients free of cost.

“I just want to know if hospitals are ready to charge at Ayushman rates?” the CJI said during Friday’s hearing through video-conference.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, told the bench that government is doing its best for the lowest strata of the society while affordable treatment is being covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea that sought direction for regulating the cost of COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals across the country.

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