In yet another populist announcement, the Delhi government on Monday said that hospitals would have to waive 50 per cent of the bill if a patient dies within six hours of his arrival in the hospital.
“If a patient dies in the emergency room or casualty department of the hospital, within six hours of his/her arrival, then the hospital shall waive 50 per cent of the total bill, and in case of 24 hours, 20 per cent of the bill should be waived,” Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain told reporters in Delhi.
Jain also said that the government was working on a policy to ensure that hospitals don’t “hold hostage” the bodies of patients over non-payments of bills.
“Body of any deceased patient cannot be forcibly withheld by a hospital and denied to the family for want of payment of due bills. There has to be dignity in death. A body cannot be held hostage just for bills,” the health minister said.
The Arvind Kejriwal government has put a draft of the policy in public domain, seeking people’s suggestions and objections over the next one month.
“The draft has been put in public domain, inviting suggestions and objections for a period of 30 days. After that, we will implement the policy with revisions,” Jain added.