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Friday, June 25, 2021

Give wide publicity to free mucormycosis treatment for poor: HC to Maharashtra

The bench also asked the state to restrain the private hospitals from charging “astronomical bills” to mucormycosis patients.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
May 25, 2021 12:07:06 pm
Fungal infections: Mucormycosis, candidiasis, aspergillosis common among Covid patientsMaharashtra government stated that treatment of black fungus infection is now covered under MJPJAY and PMJAY. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

The Maharashtra government on Monday told the Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench that treatment of mucormycosis or black fungus infection is now covered under the Mahatma Jotiba Phule Jan Aarogya Yojana (MJPJAY) and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY) for eligible underprivileged beneficiaries at selected hospitals.

The bench then directed the state government to give “wide publicity” to its decision so that poor, illiterate /semi-literate people and those living in remote and tribal areas will be benefited from the scheme. It also asked the state to restrain the private hospitals from charging “astronomical bills” to mucormycosis patients and ensure that the cost of treatment and daily consumption of antifungal medicines is monitored.

“This would prevent unscrupulous elements (hospitals) from fleecing poor people by overcharging for the treatment of mucormycosis. Needless to say, the list of hospitals identified for such treatment and through which the medicines would be made available should also be given wide publicity so that patients do not land in the wrong hospital for availing treatment,” the HC noted in its order.

The state said 130 hospitals across Maharashtra have been identified to treat the infection and 1,000 more facilities would be empanelled. Also, 19 medical and surgical packages have been identified for treatment of mucormycosis under the MJPJAY, it added.

A division bench of Justice Ravindra V Ghuge and Justice Bhalchandra U Debadwar was hearing a suo motu PIL, based on media reports, to address issues of funeral rites of Covid-19 patients, shortage of medical oxygen supply and black marketing of remdesivir among others.

The state government further said that antifungal medicines required for treatment of the ailment will be made available “free of cost” to patients admitted in pre-identified hospitals.

The HC will hear the PIL next on Tuesday.

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