Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Gujarat High Court Issues Notice To Govt. In PIL Seeking Status Report With Regard To Surge Of Mucormycosis In The State

Sparsh Upadhyay
1 Jun 2021 9:08 AM GMT
Gujarat High Court Issues Notice To Govt. In PIL Seeking Status Report With Regard To Surge Of Mucormycosis In The State
x

In view of the Surge in Mucormycosis cases in the State of Gujarat, a petition in the nature of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved before the Gujarat High Court seeking a Status report with regard to the surge. Referring to Media reports and live experiences by patients' families and volunteers, the plea moved by Maitree Kanan Muzumdar and another through advocate Amit...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

In view of the Surge in Mucormycosis cases in the State of Gujarat, a petition in the nature of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved before the Gujarat High Court seeking a Status report with regard to the surge.

Referring to Media reports and live experiences by patients' families and volunteers, the plea moved by Maitree Kanan Muzumdar and another through advocate Amit M. Panchal states that just like COVID-19, Gujarat Government has miscalculated and underreported the statistics about Mucormycosis patients.

The Bench of Justice Biren Vaishnav has issued notice to the State Government returnable on June 15, 2021.

Averments in the plea

  • The opacity around the management of the Mucormycosis epidemic has led acute shortage of Amphotericin B, an injection used to treat the same.
  • This has led to panic among patients' families and that due to procedural lapses in policies surrounding Mucormycosis many patients have lost their lives.
  • Mucormycosis can be fatal if left untreated for a prolonged period and requires several vials of the injection to be administered to the patient and hence it must be treated as a fresh challenge separate from Covid-19.

Further, the plea argues that:

"The State being a 'Welfare State', is bound to provide proper safety to its citizens, more particularly, considering the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution of India."

The plea avers that State of Gujarat has been underreporting the cases and that the Principal Health Secretary Jayanthi Ravi confirmed that the State was receiving less stock from the Centre compared to the demand.

Referring to the statement of the President of Ahmedabad Hospitals & Nursing Homes Association (AHNA), the Petition states that the acute shortage of medicines for Mucormycosis would result in private hospitals turning away patients, which is exactly what is currently happening.

The Petitioners have stated that to treat this disease, the patient needs 6 to 9 injections per day depending on the weight of the patient and that the treatment cost is not affordable by economically weaker sections.

Suggestions given by the petitioners

  • Free treatment to EWS patients at private hospitals needs to be immediately rolled out and this should be brought under the Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY scheme.
  • Appoint a separate and specific officer at the state level to oversee EWS cases as this will help smoothen the exclusions.
  • While the cost of injection has been capped with regards to purchasing by private hospitals from nodal hospitals, there needs to be a cap on cost of the injections, CT scans, and any other by all private hospitals.
  • At least one designated nodal hospital in each district to make it feasible for other districts to easily refill stock by reaching out to their district nodal hospital who will coordinate the injection.
  • Clearly define the role and authority of the nodal officers in charge of distribution and supply and specify their role in informing the patient about the application.
  • Mandate that the hospital informs the patient when their application for injection has been forwarded to the committee.
  • The nodal officer at each hospital must be given the task of informing the patients' family/ attendant about the same.
  • Clear notification by the concerned hospital to the patient in case his application for obtaining injection gets rejected by the nodal hospital and a mechanism needs to be set up to ensure the same.
  • The respondent government must ensure that the provision to file a grievance should be online and offline and an acknowledgment be given for filing the same.
  • Urgent count of cases in government and private hospitals, cases that have not been admitted or are being treated at home, and putting them out in the public domain as mandated for diseases notified under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987.
  • Panchayat should play a role in making Gram Sabha members aware of Mucormycosis through local newspapers and television ads and campaigns. The panchayat to undertake awareness drives in the villages to create awareness. Village volunteers to conduct the awareness drives. The same must be done under the leadership of the VHSNC.

The petitioners have also prayed that the State to consider the above suggestions in view of the rise of Mucormycosis cases in the State of Gujarat, with a view to effectively control and deal with the said Mucormycosis disease to safeguard the health and safety of the citizens of State of Gujarat and to prevent further spread of the said disease.

Case title - Maitree Kanan Muzumdar & Another v. State of Gujarat and Others 

Next Story
Share it