Madras HC slams Puducherry for delaying Covid treatment refund

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Puducherry received a strict warning from the Madras High Court for delaying reimbursement of Covid-19 treatment cost to private healthcare institutions. If the administration of the Union Territory does not make a substantial refund by the end of the month, officials, particularly the chief secretary and the secretary of the UT’s health department, will face serious consequences, a division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu said. 

The matter pertains to the private healthcare facilities in the UT that offered treated Covid patients during the peak of the pandemic, believing the administration’s promise that costs would be borne by it.  The administration, however, didn’t make good on the promise and the issue was taken to the court by A Anand, a resident of Puducherry. The reimbursement is due for those patients who had paid on their own as well. The warning on Friday came when the administration sought further time to submit a status report. 

The judges noted that sufficient time had been given to the administration to refund the amount paid by the citizens for treatment at private healthcare facilities. “Despite assurances that refunds would be made and the money due to private medical facilities would be discharged, a further request is made on behalf of the Union Territory for status report to be filed,” the Bench stated in its orders on Friday.

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