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Affordable treatment is a fundamental right, says Supreme Court

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LAST UPDATED: Dec. 19, 2020, 4:48 p.m.

NEW DELHI (DIVYA SAINI): The Supreme Court on Friday said that affordable healthcare is a fundamental right and is a part of right to Health, the court also noted that the fight against COVID-19 was a “world war”.

“Right to health is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Right to Health includes affordable treatment. Therefore, it is the duty upon the State to make provisions for affordable treatment,” the court said.

A three-judge bench of Judges Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah had taken up the issue of healthcare during the time of the pandemic. They said “Due to unprecedented pandemic, everybody in the world is suffering, one way or the other. It is a world war against COVID-19. Therefore, there shall be Government Public Partnership to avoid world war against COVID-19.”

“Either more and more provisions are to be made by the state government and the local administration or there shall be cap on the fees charged by the private hospitals which can be in exercise of the powers under the Disaster Management Act,” they added.

The judges said further “It cannot be disputed that for whatever reasons the treatment has become costlier and costlier and it is not affordable to the common people at all. Even if one survives from COVID-19, many times financially and economically he is finished”

The judges asked to increase the corona virus testing and declare correct data. “One must be transparent in number of testing and declaring the facts and figures of the persons who are Corona positive. Otherwise, the people will be misled and they will be under impression that everything is all right and they will become negligent,” the judges added.

The judges also asked the central government to step up fire safety measures and guidelines in hospitals for giving relief to the doctors who are in COVID- 19 duty and they also asked to ensure political meetings follow these rules.

Image credits: Google

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