Court raps Apollo, says treat poor for free | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Court raps Apollo, says treat poor for free

The Delhi High Court slammed the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital for denying free treatment to poor patients as per its lease agreement with the government while availing land at concessional rates 15 years ago. Harish V Nair reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 23, 2009 00:35 IST
Harish V Nair

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday slammed the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital for denying free treatment to poor patients as per its lease agreement with the government while availing land at concessional rates 15 years ago.

It asked the hospital to immediately earmark 33 per cent of in-patient beds and 40 per cent of out-patient beds for economically weaker patients. This comes to 200 beds.

The hospital has been told that ‘free bed’ includes all expenses of the patient from the time of admission till discharge: admission, medicines, visits by doctor, surgery and even organ implants.

Any person with an income below Rs 2,000 per month is entitled to be treated free.

The bench headed by Chief Justice A.P. Shah also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Apollo for forgetting its social obligation after getting land at Re 1 per 15 acre per year and, on the other hand, indulging in “frivolous litigations” challenging the norm.

The orders came on a public-interest petition filed by lawyer Ashok Aggarwal.

The court was particularly angry at the hospital’s repeated non-compliance of its orders to provide free treatment to the poor. The orders were first given in 1998 and repeated in 2007.