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Can’t regulate COVID-19 treatment cost; SC asks Health Ministry to consider issuing guidelines

Observing that the cost of COVID-19 treatment varies from state to state, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it cannot regulate the cost and asked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to convene a meeting with the petitioner and consider if some guidelines can be issued to states over the same.
A bench of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, said that the Supreme Court cannot regulate the cost of COVID-19 treatment.
The cost of treatment varies from state to state, CJI Bobde said and asked the officials of the Health Ministry to convene a meeting with the petitioners on the issue and consider if some guidelines can be issued to states with respect to the cost of COVID-19 treatment.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by Sachin Jain seeking appropriate orders and or directions to private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients, under a fixed amount, under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for several private hospitals, said that the states have their own models and added that the cost of the treatment cannot be the same across the country as it differs from state to state.
The central government, on the other hand, submitted before the top court that it cannot direct the private hospitals on the matter.

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