Unpaid bills in hospitals can lead to a lot of problems for the kin of the deceased – like their loved one’s body becoming a ‘hostage’ with the hospital until the due amount is cleared. However, arranging funds can become a challenge for the family and can take time. To avoid this painful ordeal a draft advisory has been made. Hospitals cannot hold patients “hostage” to extract money for unpaid bills, the Delhi High Court today told a premier private city hospital for allegedly withholding custody of a patient over outstanding dues.

Denouncing this “modus operandi” of withholding custody of patients, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Deepa Sharma said if the bills are not paid, then release the patient. “If bills not paid, then release the patient. You cannot keep patients hostage. That cannot be the modus operandi.


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