New Delhi: The Supreme Court asked the Centre to identify private hospitals where COVID-19 infected patients could get treatment for free or at a nominal cost.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A Bobde, hearing the matter via video-conferencing, observed that there are private hospitals which have been given land either free of cost or at nominal rates and they should treat coronavirus infected patients for free.
"You identify all those hospital and find out," the bench, also comprising Justices A.S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
"They have been given land either free of cost or at a very nominal rates. These charitable hospitals should treat patients for free," the bench observed and posted the matter for hearing after one week.
Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the top court that this being a policy issue was required to be decided by the government.
Mehta said he would file a response on the issue.
The bench was hearing an application filed in a plea which has sought a direction for regulating the cost of treatment of COVID-19 at private hospitals across the country.
The top court had on April 30 issued notice to the Centre and sought its response on the plea, filed by advocate Sachin Jain, which alleged that private hospitals are "commercially exploiting" patients suffering from coronavirus in this hour of crisis.
Asianet.in/News Desk: Asianet Online