New Delhi [India], August 13 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday while hearing a plea of a woman seeking financial assistance for her husband’s lung transplant, asked the hospital where he is admitted to considering if the estimated cost of the procedure can be reduced.
A Bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Aniruddha said it’s not giving any direction to the hospital but only asking them to consider if something can be done.
The apex court hearing the plea of a woman seeking the release of approximately Rs 1 crore from PM Cares and State CM Relief Funds as financial assistance for getting her husband a lung transplant after having exhausted her savings over his post-Covid-19 treatment.
The Bench asked the counsel appearing for hospitals, “Please go through the papers filed where the hospital has estimated the cost for his lung transplant and tell us if the hospital can be kind to the patient and reduce the charges. Tell them, we are not giving any direction, Please tell them to consider.”
The counsel of the hospital told the Bench that the patient’s condition is improving and if it continues he might not need a transplant.
The Bench said it will hear the matter now on August 16.
Owing to the unavailability of an ECMO machine in Bhopal, AIIMS, the woman’s husband was airlifted through an air ambulance and admitted to KIMS Hospital, Secunderabad in Telangana.
The plea said, “Not providing necessary financial assistance to save the life of the husband of Petitioner is violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and the same can be construed as inaction on part of the State in providing adequate health care to the citizens, particularly during the prevailing Covid-19 situation.”
It was contended by her that her husband was entitled to relief on the basis of equity, justice, and a good conscience and she had a legitimate expectation of help from the government in a situation of financial distress for saving the life of her husband.
“PM Cares Fund is a national endeavour to provide relief to the persons in a distress situation. The disbursement out of the fund has to be done on a need basis and as per the Deed of trust which governs the fund. However, the said discretion has to be exercised in a reasonable manner and after proper application of mind. The case of the Petitioner is a fit case where disbursement ought to have been made by the government,” added the plea.
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