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HC expounds: Detaining a patient in Hospital over the unpaid bills is Illegal

January 12,2018:

High Court added that,“Every member of public must be made aware that such action on part of a hospital is illegal”.


On Friday, Bombay High Court expounded that detaining a patient in Hospital over the unpaid bills is illegal, and “every member of public” must be made aware of this.

HC Bench comprising of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati Dangre directed Health Department of Maharashtra Government to publish on its website legal rights of the patients and Penal provisions that can be invoked against the errant Hospitals.

High Court further enunciated that,“How can a hospital detain a person who is declared fit otherwise on ground of non-payment of fees? Such hospital is curtailing personal liberty of a person”.

But the HC Bench, refused to issue any specific regulatory order against hospitals, stating that it is Government’s job. and stated that,“We can’t commit a judicial overreach by issuing the regulations on this issue. However, we must make it clear that we are sympathetic to the issue”.

HC Bench concluded that Government should formulate a mechanism to protect such patients and their families and stated that hospitals can always resort to the legal remedies to recover their dues.

Bombay HC Bench was hearing a PIL which cited two cases where the patients were allegedly detained at the private hospitals over the disputed bills.

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