Discharge patient Allegedly held hostage over non-payment of bills: Kerala HC orders hospital
Thiruvananthapuram: Coming down on a hospital, the High Court of Kerala directed the facility to immediately discharge a patient, allegedly held hostage over non-payment of medical bills. The direction came by the bench of Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice T. R. Ravi. The bench was hearing a plea moved by a resident of Varkala, seeking discharge of her son from the hospital.In her...
Thiruvananthapuram: Coming down on a hospital, the High Court of Kerala directed the facility to immediately discharge a patient, allegedly held hostage over non-payment of medical bills.
The direction came by the bench of Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice T. R. Ravi. The bench was hearing a plea moved by a resident of Varkala, seeking discharge of her son from the hospital.
In her plea, the petitioner contended that because of the alleged dues to the hospital, the hospital refused to discharge her son.
Taking note of the submission, the court specifically asked the Station House Officer accompanied by a Medical Doctor to visit the hospital and to file a report on the condition of the patient.
A statement of facts was placed before the court by the Government Pleader on October 23. In the report submitted to the court, there were allegations and counter-allegations as to how the retention of the patient was continued after July 2020.
On one hand, the petitioner alleged that it was on the insistence of payment of the bill by the hospital, while on the other hand, the hospital submitted that though discharge was made, the petitioner insisted that they will continue till the payment is made.
The court accepted the copy of the statement produced before it and after perusing the same, the Court observed that the son of the petitioner was ready for discharge even in July 2020.
In this context, the Court noted,
"We find it difficult to swallow the version of the respondent-hospital especially since the complaint is filed before the Police on the claim of return of money which the Police is not entitled to proceed with. The report of the Station House Officer has specifically quoted the Medical Officer accompanying him as having opined that the petitioner's son can be discharged and he does not require any further in-patient treatment."
The court further added;
"The respondent-hospital has also submitted that he (son of the Petitioner) was discharged as early as on 08.07.2020. In such circumstances, we are of the opinion that the respondent would have to be left to remedy of recovery by means recognized by law, but however, only for amounts due, till the date of discharge, i.e., on 08.07.2020. We say this specifically because the version of the respondent hospital that despite discharge the petitioner and her son failed to vacate the room cannot be believed."
Subsequently, the court ordered that the discharge be made immediately and the petitioner be allowed to take her son home.
To access the official order, click on the link below;
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