The Supreme Court on Friday asked private hospitals if they are ready to treat coronavirus patients at prices under the Ayushman Bharat scheme being run by the government. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said that the apex court is asking only those private hospitals to treat certain number of coronavirus infected patients for free which have received land at concessional rates from the government, news agency PTI reported.
"I just want to know if hospitals are ready to charge at Ayushman rates?" the CJI said during the hearing conducted through video conferencing.
The top court was hearing a petition saying that the tariff under the Ayushman Bharat scheme should also be applicable to private hospitals. The tariff under the scheme should be made applicable to everybody, the petition asked.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that the government is doing its best for the lowest strata of the society. People who cannot afford treatment are covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, he added.
Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana is a part of the government's National Health Policy which aims to provide free health coverage at the secondary and tertiary levels to bottom 40 per cent of poor and vulnerable population.
Meanwhile, India today recorded 9,851 cases and 273 deaths in a single day, taking the total number of coronavirus infections to 227,029, and 6,363 deaths.