Hospitals Cannot Hold Patients Hostage Over Unpaid Bills: Delhi HC

The Logical Indian Crew

April 27th, 2017

Hospitals Unpaid Bills

Courtesy: Bar & Bench | Image Credit: fastcompany | lawofficesofsm

The Delhi High Court passed an order on 26 April saying that hospitals cannot hold patients hostage over non-payment of bills.

The verdict was dispensed by a Bench consisting of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Deepa Sharma. The Justices told the private hospital in question, “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 case

The case involved a former Madhya Pradesh policeman who had to undergo surgery for treatment of an intestinal disorder. He was admitted in a Delhi hospital in February. However, as stated by the patient’s son, the hospital was holding the patient hostage due to outstanding dues of Rs 13.45 lakh.

According to The Economic Times, the son alleged that the hospital was not giving proper treatment to his father and when he sought to take him away, it did not allow him to do so. He also said that the surgery was carried out after he had lodged a police complaint on 20 April.

The son duly approached the Delhi High Court with a habeas corpus plea.

The hospital opposed the son’s arguments and retorted that he had raised the grievance as the patient was shifted to the general ward from private ward due to non- payment of dues. The hospital also stated that the total bill was Rs 16.75 lakh and the patient had only paid Rs 3.3 lakh.

Despite the outstanding dues, a surgery was carried out on the patient on April 21 after being shifted to the general ward, the hospital said.


Judgement Copy: Page 1Bar & Bench

Judgement Copy: Page 2Bar & Bench

Judgement Copy: Page 3Bar & Bench

Judgement Copy: Page 4Bar & Bench

Presently, the Court has directed the hospital to prepare the discharge summary and allowed the petitioner to remove his father from the hospital on his own responsibility.

“If bills not paid, then release the patient. You cannot keep patients hostage. That cannot be the modus operandi … Even if dues are outstanding, custody of patients cannot be withheld to extract money towards unpaid bills. We deprecate this practice,” the Court told the hospital.

 

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Operation White Coat

Sting Operation By Cobrapost Reveals Pvt Hospitals Paid Doctors To Redirect Their Patients To Their Institutions

Andhra Pradesh: Oxygen Cylinder Bills Remain Unpaid For At Top Govt Hospital For Over 6 Months

Max Healthcare

The Video Shows How Doctors Are Eager To Cure Patients And Send Them Back Home To Their Dear Ones

Delhi Govt To Bear Expenses

Delhi Govt To Bear The Expenses Of Accident And Acid Attack Victims In Private Hospitals

Mamata Banerjee Guidelines To Private Hospitals

West Bengal Government Gives Guidelines To Private Hospitals To “Curb Harassment” Of Patients

14-Year-Old AIDS Patient Made To Run Around 4 Hospitals In 24 Hours Looking For Treatment

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

In One Of The Poorest Regions Of Jharkhand, Thousands Denied Ration In The Name Of Aadhaar

Fact Check

Mysterious Death Of 21-Yr-Old Given Communal Colour By BJP Karnataka, Sparks Violence

Others

Finance Minister Defends FRDI Bill Again, Says Will Protect Depositors Interest

News

Arunachal Civil Services Examination Had 50% Questions Lifted From Pakistani Website

Awareness

New SC Ruling: Hotels, Restaurants Can Sell Bottled Water Above MRP

News

Karnataka BJP Leader Caught In Camera Asking Workers To Bluff & Lie To Voters