Pointing to the seriousness of patients suffering from haemophilia not getting access to medication owing to loopholes in distribution system, the Bombay High Court Monday asked the Director of Health Services in Maharashtra to inform it about the mechanism in place to ensure proper distribution of such medicine to day care centres.
The director will also have to furnish details on the requirement of medicines for registered patients.
In November 2016, the petitioners, who are haemophiliacs, had filed an affidavit stating that anti-haemophilic medicines were not available at day care centres started by the state government in hospitals, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation-run KEM Hospital.
According to government’s advocate G W Mattos, there are 4,235 patients registered in Maharashtra, while 809 are registered with the KEM Hospital from across the country.
“Regular treatment is being provided by the government free of cost in the six day care centres, besides the district headquarters. If supply of medicine is delayed the same can prove to be fatal,” said the High Court.
Pointing to the possible loopholes in distribution, Chief Justice Manjula Chellur said: “There is no proper distribution of medication. Patients will not have benefit of the government’s laudable efforts for distributing free medication.”
With the state having issued tenders for procurement of medicines that are supposed to be opened Monday, the entire process is expected to be completed in 15-20 days, according to the government.
“We direct the director of the Directorate of Health Services to file an affidavit regarding the quantity of medicine that is required to be supplied to each registered patient apart from placing on record the mechanism,” said the Chief Justice.
The court further pointed out that immediate steps should be taken to ensure that there is no shortage of medicines.
It has also asked the KEM to create an online list of registered patients who are provided with medication procured from the government as the existing list only provides information relating to medicines procured from the World Haemophilia Federation.
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