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Wife's PM CARES aid plea: SC asks hospital to try reducing treatment cost

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By NS Desk 13-Aug-2021

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday asked a Secunderabad-based hospital to consider reducing the treatment cost of a man whose wife has sought Rs 1 crore aid from the PM-CARES Fund for transplant of his lungs, which were impacted due to Covid infection.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose clarified that the court is not giving any direction, but asking the hospital to consider if something could be done in this matter. "We are not giving any direction to the government, except that the representation is considered, which may not be useful as the government has their constraints," it said.

The bench told the hospital's counsel to examine the estimated the cost for the lungs transplant and tell them if the hospital can be kind to the patient and reduce the charges.

Counsel for the hospital informed the bench that the patient's condition is improving, and if it continues, he might not need a transplant. The bench replied, "That's good. You tell us next week, if condition has improved. Please get instructions if they can waive anything, we'll see."

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on Monday.

The top court was hearing a plea by Sheela Mehra who sought financial assistance for the medical procedure under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Mehra, in the plea filed through advocate Krishna Kumar Singh, said: "Petitioner has spent more than Rs 1 crore on medication of her husband and only turned for help after exhausting all money available to her. The petitioner has also tried crowd funding, personal appeal on social websites, loan from friends and acquaintances before approaching the official respondents for financial help."

She emphasised that no life should meet its end for reason of financial constraints and state is duty bound to extend help in appropriate case. She insisted that PM Cares Fund is a national endeavour to provide relief to persons in distress situation.

--IANS

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