Parity in fees of private nursing homes and hospitals not possible: HC

There can be no uniformity in rates charged by private nursing homes and hospitals as the amount would depend upon the nature and type of disease as well as the quality of treatment provided, the Delhi High Court has held.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar further said that charges levied by a private nursing home or hospital would also depend upon the facilities available with them.

The observations by the bench came while dismissing a PIL which was seeking directions to the Delhi government to issue a notification on bringing uniformity in charges levied by private nursing home and hospitals in the national capital.

"Looking to the prayers made in this writ petition, there cannot be uniformity in charging of rates by private nursing homes and hospitals from the patients falling under general category. All private nursing home and hospitals cannot be equated with respect to the charges required to be paid by the patients.

"It depends upon the nature of disease/diagnosis of the patients and the type of treatment given by the private homes/hospitals. Even otherwise, the charges to be paid by the patients as levied by the private nursing homes and hospitals depend upon the facilities available with them. Hence, we see no reason to entertain this writ petition," the court said.

Dismissing the PIL by an NGO, the bench also noted in its judgement that the charges depend upon a variety of factors, including number of facilities being provided by the private nursing homes and hospitals, the promptness in providing of services, efficiency of the staff and quality of services provided.

NGO Legal Forum for Women Empowerment through its president Payal Bahl, an advocate, had not only sought uniformity in charges of private nursing homes and hospitals, but also a mechanism to help the public lodge complaints or raise grievances against any malpractice by such entities.

The Delhi government had contended that malpractice by such entities can be brought to the attention of its Directorate of Health Services which would then take requisite action.

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