An ‘illogical’ diktat of the gas relief and rehabilitation department is impeding the treatment of a number of gas tragedy affected cancer patients, a gas survivors’ organisation has said in its complaint to the Supreme Court appointed monitoring committee.
The department has asked these patients to obtain an advance ‘treatment package proposal’ (on cost of treatment) from the Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital, before their cases for free treatment are approved, according to the organisation Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS).
Upon directives of chairman Justice VK Agrawal, the SC monitoring committee (for medical facilities to gas survivors) has written to the gas relief department seeking information on the matter, member of the committee Purnendu Shukla told HT.
The department reimburses the cost of treatment of gas tragedy affected cancer patients to the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital that is run by a private trust.
The patients and the hospital, however, both contend that it is difficult to decide upon advance cost of treatment for the cancer patients as certain module of treatments could be decided only after a certain stage of treatment.
“In absence of the package proposal, however, the gas relief department is not approving the treatment proposals.
This is illogical and amounts to harassing the gas survivors from economically backward classes who are in advanced stages of the disease,” said Abdul Jabbar, convener of the BGPMUS.
Mohammad Farooq, 45, a patient of throat cancer said he has been making rounds of the office of chief medical and health officer (CMHO) of the gas relief department since two months, but his treatment proposal is yet pending.
Another, Farzana Zia, 55, who is afflicted with breast cancer, said four of her previous chemotherapy sessions at the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital were conducted on session to session basis approvals by the gas relief department.
But recently, she was asked to procure a ‘package’ proposal from the hospital for her two remaining sessions.
“Due to this procedural problem, my sessions have already been delayed by more than a week,” she said.
Monitoring committee member Shukla said the (Jawaharlal Nehru) hospital authorities told them that it is difficult to decide the cost and module of treatment in advance and thus the new clause is not logical.
Due to this clause 30-35 cases have become pending at the hospital.
Shukla said the matter would be inquired into and action initiated shortly.
CMHO Dr Sanjay Saxena, however, denied that any proposals for treatment were pending.
“The commissioner who has joined two months ago had sought details of the approval procedure, but it has not hampered the process. Approvals are being given as earlier,” he said.
Upon directives of chairman Justice VK Agrawal, the Supreme Court monitoring committee (for medical facilities to gas survivors) has written to the gas relief department seeking information on the matter
Patients and the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital both contend that it is difficult to decide upon advance cost of treatment for the cancer patients as certain module of treatments could be decided only after a certain stage of treatment