GUWAHATI- The Gauhati High Court while hearing a petition on capping the fees of private hospital observed that the fees cap of private hospital as decided by the Assam Government appears to be on higher side and accordingly directed the State Government to reconsider the price.
The Court has also directed to cap the rate of single cabin which has been left out by the Government in its previous notification which provided the rate of general ward, share cabin and ICU with and without ventilator.
The aforesaid direction came in a Public Interest Litigation filed by Advocates Association of Indigenous Rights of Assamese (AAIRA). The Association was represented by Senior Advocate Mr. K.K. Mahanta and Advocate Kaushik Ram Barooah.
The Government of Assam had previously come up with the notification dated 4.06.2021 capping the fees of private only after filing of the Public Interest Litigation.
The Association however felt that though the respondents have come up with a notification to provide relief to the distressed people of Assam but the rate so capped are not in consonance with the economic condition of the local people.
Whereas the States like Kerala, Maharashtra etc. which compared to Assam have much higher per capita income and economically much developed have kept much lesser rates while capping the fees of private hospital beds, on the other hand the respondent has kept higher rates for the private hospital beds in Assam.
Also there is no different rates for different cites/towns/districts of Assam which ought to have been there as keeping the similar rates for small towns will infact increase the problems of the public, as the hospitals from such places will have now liberty to demand the fees at the rate provided in the Notification which can be much higher considering the infrastructure and facilities available in such hospitals and this definitely will affect the outskirt and rural people.
Also the single cabin are left out in the notification which appeared to be a deliberate attempt to allow the private hospitals to charge exorbitant rates for single cabin as per their own wish which apparently is not at all in public interest.
The Association as such filed an affidavit highlighting these issues. Satisfied with the arguments of Senior Advocate Mr. Mahanta the High Court on 23.06.2021 directed to reconsider the rates including the rates of single cabin. The case will come up next of 15th July.