The Delhi government on Monday turned down a proposal of private hospitals to provide free treatment to poor patients only up to billing amount of Rs 50,000 and sought a direction from the Supreme Court to prohibit them from putting any such cap.
It said the proposal for putting a ceiling "is not practicable" and totally "unacceptable".
In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the government informed the court that out of 37 hospitals, which were given land at subsidised rate, 27 are giving free treatment to the economically weaker section (EWS) of society but some have proposed a ceiling of the Rs 50,000 per patient.
"A perusal of their (hospital's) proposals reveals that they have agreed to provide free treatment to EWS patients free of cost subject to billing amount limit of Rs 50,000 per patient. This is totally against the letter and spirit of providing free treatment to poor patients.
"If the above proposal is to be accepted then many poor patients would be denied complete and full treatment for their illness and this would defeat the very aim and objective of providing free treatment to poor patients. A cap or ceiling of the Rs 50,000 per patient is not practicable. This is totally unacceptable to the government," the 11-page affidavit said.
It said that four hospitals -- Fortis Escort Heart Institute; Max Super Specialty, Saket; Max Super Specialty, IP Extension; and Bhagwati Hospital -- did not submit their representation in a meeting which was organised on the direction of the apex court to chart out a scheme for the implementation of the scheme for free treatment.