New Delhi: The city government on Thursday assured the Delhi High Court that it will provide free blood transfusion to an eight-year-old child suffering from Thalassemia.
The bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Manmohan was also told that All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) will conduct the bone marrow transplant to cure the child subject to the availability of a donor.
Converting a letter, written by the child`s parents for court`s intervention, into a PIL yesterday, the bench today summoned the couple.
Appearing before the bench, the couple said their son`s blood transfusion takes place once in every fortnight and it costs about Rs 1500-2000 each time. But since his blood group O-ve is rare, they face difficulty in procuring blood.
Delhi government`s counsel Zubeda Begum told the bench that the child`s blood transfusion can be done at government hospitals like Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Lok Nayak or Guru Teg Bahadur without any cost.
Only the parents have to register themselves with the hospital, the lawyers also said.
The AIIMS counsel also told the court that the bone marrow transplant can be done only in AIIMS with a nominal charge subject to availability of a donor.
After recording the statement of the counsel of AIIMS and Delhi government, the court asked the couple to approach DDU for blood transfusion and AIIMS tomorrow for the transplant.
The court also asked the government counsel to file an affidavit giving details about the number of Thalassemia patients undergoing treatment in various government hospitals.
General Rajeeve Mehra told the court that according to Health Ministry guidelines, the government hospitals will not charge anything from Thalessemia patients for transfusion of blood.
The court asked the government to implement the guidelines with proper spirit.
It was hearing the couple`s plea in which they said doctors told them that bone marrow transplant was the only permanent cure for such disease and its treatment was very expensive. So it was beyond their financial capacity.
"I am working with a private limited company and my monthly emoluments do not allow me to make payments towards the procurement of blood on a regular basis and also to take care of the well being of my family...," the child`s father said.
"The government does not have any specific policy to provide for the blood transfusion requirement to patients of thalassemia...," the couple said, seeking the court`s help to get their child`s bone marrow operation done free of cost.
They also said that the child, who is suffering from the disease from the tender age of six months, is undergoing treatment at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.