Gujarat High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance of Hospitals Demanding Enormous Fees

Earlier last week, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Ilesh Vora of the Gujarat High Court directed the state government; to take necessary steps to regulate the enormous fees charged by private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. In effect, the High Court took up a suo motu litigation to guide various issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Court directed the State Government to address this issue with the persons concerned to ensure an affordable level playing field for all private hospitals in Ahmedabad; so as to make a larger number of beds available for more and more patients. Further, the court urged that if private hospitals do not avoid demanding enormous fees, the Court will take appropriate legal action against such hospitals; including the cancellation of their license.

The Bench directed the State government to look into issues such as transport for migrant workers who wish to travel back to their home states. Further, the Bench urges the State to ascertain their ticket fares would be paid up. Moreover, the Court took the submissions made by the Government; to deal with the COVID-19 crisis including certain steps on the provision of food to the needy and the transport of migrant workers. The Court emphasized if a person remains ailing and requires medical treatment, the police should not constrain such a person from reaching the hospital. The police should wisely adopt a practical approach. The Court has listed the matter on May 22, 2020 for further proceedings.

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