Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding treatment of patients with COVID-19, 31/08/2020

  • 31/08/2020

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Sachin Jain Vs Union of India dated 31/08/2020.

The petitioner, an advocate has sought for the following directions:

(i) Directing the Union of India to regulate the cost of treatment of patients infected with COVID­19, at Private/Corporate hospitals across the country,

(ii) directing the Union of India to mandate the private hospitals set up on public land, allotted at concessional rates either on the ground that those hospitals are run by charitable institutions or otherwise, to treat COVID­19 patients either free of cost or on non­profit basis,

(iii) directing the Union of India to bear the cost of treatment of COVID­19 patients at private hospitals, for the poor and vulnerable and who have neither the means nor the insurance cover, by expanding the coverage under Public Health Schemes such as Ayushman Bharat and

(iv) directing the Union of India to combat the commercialisation of health care by private health sector.

The SC after going through the petition gave the following directions to the Union of India: 

(i) A meeting of the Health Ministers/Secretaries of all states and union territories (UTs) must be convened within one week 

(ii) In the said meeting, all the states and UTs, should be advised to come up, within 2 weeks of the first meeting, with a master plan, both legislative and executive, taking cue from the already existing Public Health Acts of various states and also taking cue from the National Health Bill, 2009, which focuses on the marginalized sections of society

(iii) Thereafter, a second meeting of the Health Ministers/ Secretaries of all states and UTs may be convened for the purpose of collating the information received from the states and UTs regarding the steps taken by the states

(iv) After receipt of the information from all the states and UTs, the Government of India may file a comprehensive report with a compilation of the information received from the states and UTs 

(v) The states which already have Public Health Acts, may be advised to fine­tune their existing enactments, on the model of the National Health Bill, 2009.