The Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute (RGCI) on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that starting March 1, it will provide free treatment to poor patients to the extent of 25 per cent in the out-patient department (OPD) and 10 per cent in the in-patient department (IPD), in view of a PIL alleging that the former has failed to do so in the last two decades.
In 2018, Social Juris, an NGO, had moved the high court complaining that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had allotted land to RGCI on concessional rates on the condition that it would provide free treatment to poor patients to the extent as mentioned above for both departments, but has not adhered to it.
The NGO through advocate Ashok Aggarwal had also mentioned that both the high court and the apex court in 2007 and 2018, respectively, had said hospitals that were allotted land on concessional rates would have to provide free treatment to poor patients.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the institute to carry it out as undertaken by it after taking the latter’s stand on record and disposed of the matter.
The bench said: “In light of the statement, the hospital is directed to provide 25 per cent OPD and 10 per cent IPD to EWS patients. The petition is disposed of.”
While seeking directions from the court to RGCI to adhere to the land allotment conditions, the NGO had alleged that by not providing free treatment for the last two decades, the RGCI had earned “unwarranted profits”, which it was liable to pay to the government for the welfare of the society.
In the wake of the above, it was also requested to the court to direct the Arvind Kejriwal-led government to initiate the process for the recovery of the “unwarranted profits” earned by RGCI.