The state government told Bombay High Court (HC) on Monday compulsory screening of newborns for early diagnosis of hemophilia was not possible.
HC was hearing a PIL by the Mumbai chapter of Hemophilia Society and four patients demanding a comprehensive policy on the disorder.
Hemophilia is a rare condition where blood from wounds does not coagulate. According to the petitioners,the treatment costs between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 7 lakh.
It is not possible to make such screening compulsory as it is against World Health Organisation (WHO) norms and the screening tests are not reliable, assistant government pleader G W Mattos said.
The state government,however,agreed to provide free medicines to hemophilia patients. Mattos told HC the government would start providing free medicines from KEM Hospital and later under Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Yojana.
The petitioners noted several states,including Uttar Pradesh,Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka,gave free medicines to hemophilia patients,and questioned why Maharashtra was not adopting a similar policy.