Asia & Australia

April 28, 2017

Delhi HC Orders Hospital To Discharge Patient Whose Custody Was Withheld Due To Non-Payment Of Medical Bills

Medical Bills

On April 26, a Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Deepa Sharma of the Delhi High Court directed Sir Ganga Ram Hospital to discharge a patient whose custody was withheld because of non-payment of medical bills.

“Merely because the dues of the Hospital treating the patient are outstanding, that certainly cannot be a reason to withhold the release of the patient…..We deprecate this practice,” the bench said.

The court then directed the hospital to prepare the discharge summary and allowed the petitioner to remove his father from the hospital on his own responsibility.

This order stems from a petition filed by the patient’s son, who alleged that apart from illegally detaining his father to extract money, the hospital was also not giving him proper treatment.

The patient worked as a Constable in the Economic Offense Wing, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh. He was admitted to the hospital on February 28, following deterioration of health due to enterocutaneous fistula.

According to the petition, the petitioner had paid an amount of Rs 3.30 lakhs at the time of admitting his father, but subsequently, bills amounting to Rs 13.38 lakhs were raised in an arbitrary manner and without application of mind.

Also, the petitioner alleged that since the bills raised by the hospital were not paid, his father was shifted from the Private Ward to the General Ward and had been kept in a pathetic, deplorable state.

Nitin Jain, counsel for the petitioner, stated that this modus operandi has been adopted earlier as well in respect of other patients.

However, the hospital denied all allegations made by the petitioner and stated that the patient has been receiving proper treatment and that a surgery was also performed on April 21, although the patient was shifted to the General Ward since the charges were not paid.

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