Supreme Court: Affordable COVID Care is a Fundamental Right

The Supreme Court stated that affordable healthcare is a fundamental right and held the state responsible for ensuring the right and noted that the fight against COVID-19 was a “world war”.

The Supreme Court took up the issue of healthcare during the time of the pandemic on its own and also looked at instances where bodies of coronavirus casualties were not handled with dignity.

A three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, held that “Right to health is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Right to Health includes affordable treatment. Therefore, it is the duty upon the State to make provisions for affordable treatment.”

The Court observed that the treatment of COVID is not affordable by common man and the prices are getting costlier each day.

The Bench also added that the entire world is suffering, it is the world war against COVID. Therefore there shall be Government Public Partnership to avoid this war. It stated that the Government has to make more provisions or try to cap the fees taken by private hospitals through the Disaster Management Act.

The court also called for an increase in the COVID testing and emphasised on the collection of the right data, in order to spread awareness that the COVID situation has not ended and people cannot be negligent.

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