Delhi HC notice on plea seeking free thalassemia treatment

New Delhi, Dec 18 : The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the central and state governments on a plea by a couple seeking the court's intervention to provide free treatment to their eight-year-old son suffering from thalassemia.

A division bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Manmohan asked the union ministry of health, Delhi government, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and the Indian Red Cross Society to reply by Thursday.

In a letter to the chief justice, which was converted by the court into a PIL, the couple - residents of Pitampura area - said their son has been suffering from thalassemia since the age of six months and his blood transfusion takes place once in a fortnight.

The letter said the parents were told by doctors that "bone marrow transplant is the only permanent cure for such disease" and the treatment was very expensive and beyond their financial capacity.

The father of the boy said in the letter: "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."

Seeking the court's intervention to get their son's bone marrow operation done free of cost, the couple said: "The government does not have any specific policy to provide for the blood transfusion requirement to patients of thalassemia.

"Therefore, such children are the sole responsibility of the parents and many children die in the process of their parents' inability to arrange blood or insufficiency of funds to buy the requisite quantity of blood every fortnight."

The child, whose blood group is O-negative, is undergoing treatment at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital at present and as his blood group is rare, the family is facing difficulty in getting blood every fortnight, the parents said.

--IANS (Posted on 19-12-2013)

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