The Maharashtra government has told the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday that the treatment of mucormycosis or black fungus, will now be treated for free under the Mahatma Jotiba Phule Jan Aarogya Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
According to reports, citizens will receive free treatment for mucormycosis at selected hospitals and nursing homes across Maharashtra under the above schemes.
The Maharashtra government told a bench of Justices RV Ghuge and BU Debadwar that it had identified 130 hospitals across the state for anti-fungal treatments and even citizens who did not hold cards for the insurance schemes mentioned above could avail the treatment for mucormycosis at these facilities free of cost.
The state also said that 1,000 more hospitals would be empanelled for treating mucormycosis under the above schemes soon and anti-fungal medicines required for treating mucormycosis will be provided free of cost to patients admitted in these hospitals, The government emphasised that private hospitals will also be restrained from “raising astronomical bills” and that it was working on capping the cost of the treatment for mucormycosis at private hospitals in the state.
A Government Resolution (GR) issued on May 18 2021 notified the above submissions, the state said. The bench accepted the state’s submissions and directed it to publicise the GR.
“It is thus, apparent that the state of Maharashtra has come up with a specific policy to treat mucormycosis. Private hospitals too will be restrained from raising astronomical bills. We, therefore, expect the state government to accord wide publicity to this policy so that the poorest of poor, the illiterate and semi-literate and persons in remote and tribal areas become aware of the same,” the HC said.
“Needless to state that the list of hospitals identified for such treatment and through which medicines will be made available also be given wide publicity so that patients do not land at wrong hospitals for availing the treatment for mucormycosis,” it said.
The court directed such hospitals to display instructions for the public about the availability of beds and medicines. It will continue the hearing on Tuesday.
The Union Health Ministry recently urged the states and Union Territories to make cases of black fungal infection or mucormycosis a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, stating that the infection is leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality among COVID-19 patients.