The LexGaze Weekly - HOPE

“Right to Health Includes Affordable Treatment”

Aishwary Jaiswal

Issue 25 | December 20, 2020

“Right to Health Includes Affordable Treatment”

-Supreme Court


The Supreme Court, in a recent order, has observed that the Right to Health (a fundamental right under Article 21) includes the right to seek affordable treatment.


The three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, and M.R. Shah, in a Suo Moto cognizance, has said, “Either more and more provisions are to be made by the State Governments and the local administration or there shall be a cap on the fees charged by the private hospitals which can be in the exercise of the powers under the Disaster Management Act.”


Aside from the observation above, the court has also stated that it is the duty of the State to bring forth the necessary provisions to make the treatments in hospitals run by the state/local administration affordable for the citizens.


Calling the global fight against the Coronavirus- COVID-19 “a World War”, the bench remarked, “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 of the state to make provisions for affordable treatment and more and more provisions for the hospitals run by the State and/or local administration. It cannot be disputed that for whatever reasons, the treatment has become costlier and costlier, and it is not affordable to the common people at all. Even if one survives from COVID-19, many times financially and economically, he is finished. Therefore, either more and more provisions are to be made by the State Government and the local administration or there shall be a cap on the fees charged by the private hospitals, which can be in the exercise of the powers under the Disaster Management Act.”


The court further added that the State is duty-bound to shoot up the number of COVID-19 tests conducted and that the results, facts, and figures be declared with utmost transparency.


Hope Plus

  • The Supreme Court refrains from passing any substantive directions in the Public Interest Litigations seeking removal of farmers’ protest.

  • The Karnataka High Court rejects the Enforcement Directorate’s objection and allows Amnesty International to withdraw ₹ 60 lakhs from its bank accounts.

  • The Supreme Court, clutching at straws, says it will form a committee to resolve the issue of farmers’ protest.

  • The High Court of Kerala raises the number of permissible daily pilgrims at Sabarimala temple to 5000 with effect from December 20.

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