Private hospitals in the capital which are not providing free treatment to the poor despite availing subsidised land on that condition now stand to face contempt proceedings.
Hearing a contempt of court petition filed against Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital, St Stephens and Moolchand Hospital, a bench headed by Justice S Ravindra Bhat has sought from the Centre a list of private hospitals built on land allocated by the government on subsidised prices.
Seeking the list within three weeks, the bench ordered the next hearing for August 25.
The court, in its March 22, 2007 order, stipulated that hospitals that got government land at subsidised prices would provide free treatment to the poor and reserve 10% beds for 'in-patients' and 25% beds for outpatients. The court has repeatedly made it clear that the term 'free bed' includes all expenses of the patient from the time of admission till his discharge - free admission, medicines, medical consumables, visits by doctors, surgery and even organ implants.
Any person with a monthly income below R2,000 is entitled for free treatment.
However, the three hospitals under the scanner have maintained before the court that they did not get land at subsidised rates.
But the petitioner, Agarwal, claimed that the Delhi Development Authority and Land and Development Office have clearly stated in affidavits filed in July 2007 that these hospitals were given land at highly subsidised rates on the condition that they would earmark beds for extending free treatment to the poor.