HC notice to Centre on child seeking free treatment
New Delhi – The Delhi High Court Friday issued notice on a minor boy’s plea that he was denied treatment by the AIIMS because his parents could not pay for the hefty treatment.
Justice V.K. Jain sought a response from the ministry of health and family welfare, the Delhi government and All India Medical Sciences (AIIMS) by Dec 11.
Mohd. Ahmed, 7, has been suffering from Gaucher disease Type-I, and was denied free treatment by AIIMS after his parents were unable to pay Rs.4.80 lakh per month as they are poor. Gaucher disease is an inherited disorder that affects many of the body’s organs and tissues.
Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, appearing for the child, said that since AIIMS is a government hosp! ital, it has a constitutional obligation to provide free treatment to those patients who cannot afford the costs involved.
He added that child’s father is a rickshaw puller and has already lost four children due to the same disease, which is a genetic disorder. Ahmed is his last surviving child.
“He is in a highly critical state and weighs only 13 kgs. The department of Pediatrics at AIIMS estimated the cost of his treatment– Enzyme replacement therapy– at Rs.4.80 lakh per month,” Aggarwal said.
“Unable to bear the hefty cost of treatment, he has been turned away by the said hospital,” the lawyer added.
The child’s father also approached Delhi government that had though given a cheque of Rs.4.8 lakh, which was used for treatment in Aug and Sep 2013. However, no further assistance was provided.
The petition said the central and state’s government position is a violation of the child’s Human and Fundamental Right to Life and is a failure o! n their part in performing their constitutional duty of providing free ! treatment.