Mumbai: In a significant move, the Maharashtra government on Monday informed the Bombay High Court that it will treat all patients suffering from mucormycosis or black fungus at designated hospitals free of cost besides planning to cap the treatment rates in private hospitals.
The treatment will be given at pre-identified hospitals and nursing homes in the state under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana and the Pradhan Mantra Jan Arogya Yojana.
The government also informed a division bench at the Aurangabad Bench, comprising Justice R.V. Ghuge and Justice B.U. Debadwar that a GR to this effect has been issued on May 18.
While 130 hospitals in the state are notified under these two schemes, another 1000 shall be empaneled and the medicines required for mucormycosis treatment shall be provided free of cost, it said.
Given the high cost of treatment for the disease, the state is also planning to cap the treatment cost in private hospitals.
“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,” the judges noted.
It further said that it expects the state government to accord wide publicity to this policy so that the poorest of poor, the illiterate or semi-literate and persons in remotest or tribal areas become aware of the same.
According to Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra has till date witnessed over 1,500-plus mucormycosis cases and more than 100 deaths, both highest in the country, besides shortages of the drug Liposomal Amphotericin-B used to treat the disease.