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Detaining patients for unpaid bills is illegal: High court

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The today asserted that detaining a patient in hospital over unpaid bills is illegal, and "every member of public" must be made aware of this.

A bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre directed the health department of the to publish on its website the legal rights of patients and the penal provisions that can be invoked against errant hospitals.

"How can a hospital detain a person who is declared fit otherwise on the ground of non-payment of fees? is curtailing the personal liberty of a person.

"Every member of the public must be made aware that such action on the part of a hospital is illegal," the bench said.

The bench, however, refused to issue any specific regulatory order against hospitals, saying it is government's job.

"We can't commit a judicial overreach by issuing regulations on the issue. However, we must make it clear that we are sympathetic to the issue," it said.

Opining that the should formulate a mechanism to protect such patients and their families, the bench said hospitals can always resort to legal remedies to recover their dues.

The high was hearing a which cited two cases where patients were allegedly detained at private hospitals over disputed bills.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 17:20 IST