The Telangana government informed the High Court on Tuesday that steps have been taken to ensure that Apollo and the Basava Taraka Rama Rao Memorial Cancer Hospital in Hyderabad extend necessary medical facilities free of cost to the poor who approach them for treatment in medical emergencies.
To bolster the government’s position, Advocate General (AG) BS Prasad provided the GO issued by the Secretary, Medical and Health, Telangana Government, which clearly stated that Apollo Hospitals will extend 15 per cent of its beds and Basava Taraka Rama Rao Cancer Hospital 25 per cent of its beds to the poor as well as all medical needs, in addition to creating outpatient counters at the hospitals.
The AG informed a bench led by Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice S Nanda that the government will guarantee that the two hospitals live up to the commitment they had given that they would care for the poor free of cost. The treatment provided by these hospitals would be linked to the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), which will greatly benefit the impoverished people, he said.
The bench was considering a PIL filed by Omim Maneckshaw Debara, a citizen from Hyderabad, who argued that some private corporate hospitals were given valuable government lands in the centre of the city at a very low price in return for the promise that they would provide treatment free of cost to the poor, reserve beds in their hospitals for them. However, they do not keep their word once their hospitals are in place, the PIL said.