Court seeks number of thalassemiacs undergoing treatment in Delhi

New Delhi, Dec 19: The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the city government to appraise it about the number of thalassemia patients undergoing treatment in various government hospitals and whether people know about the guidelines related to the treatment of disease.

A division bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Manmohan also asked the central government’s counsel to inform it, within four weeks, whether the government was implementing the guidelines properly.

The court’s direction came after Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra told the bench as per central government guidelines, blood is issued free of charge to patients of thalassaemia, haemophilia and sickle cell disease.

The bench was hearing a case where a couple sought free treatment for their eight-year-old child suffering from thalassemia.

The city government Thursday assured the bench that it will provide free blood transfusion to the child. The bench 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.

The bench Wednesday converted a letter, written by the child’s parents for court’s intervention, into a PIL and asked them to appear before it.

The couple, appearing before the bench, said their son’s blood transfusion takes place once in every fortnight and it costs about Rs.1,500-2,000 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 court 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. The parents have to register themselves with the hospital, the lawyers also said.

The counsel appearing for the AIIMS 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.

The court, after recording the statement of the counsel of AIIMS and Delhi government, asked the couple to approach DDU for blood transfusion and AIIMS Friday for the transplant.

IANS