Expressing its inability to perform for free high-class treatments and expensive surgeries due to financial constraints, the AIIMS Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it is the duty of the central or state governments to release funds for the purpose.
Filing an affidavit before Justice Vibhu Bakhru, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ (AIIMS) medical superintendent said that the funds received from the government are not sufficient to perform free expensive surgeries there.
“It is duty of the central and state governments to frame and approve the new policies by which huge funds will be released through which the high class treatments and expensive surgeries can be performed at AIIMS,” the affidavit stated.
The hospital’s response came on a plea filed by 38-year-old Sarvesh who suffers from Reiter’s disease and has sought free treatment in AIIMS for a hip and knee surgery.
Reiter’s disease, ordinarily famous as reactive arthritis, is an auto-immune condition that occurs in response to an infection in another part of the body.
Sarvesh has been left crippled and stationary since the ailment and urgently needs surgery but cannot afford the treatment which costs nearly Rs.8 lakh.
Expressing its inability to provide free surgery, the hospital said that implants are not provided by the AIIMS in view of budgetary constraints.
“Estimated cost of hip (right and left) and knee (right and left) implants required approximately Rs.8 lakh, since the above stated implants are not provided by the AIIMS in view of budgetary constraints.”
“AIIMS advised Sarvesh to apply for financial assistance for his treatment under the National Illness Assistance Fund/Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (NIAF/RAN) scheme of the health and family welfare ministry,” said the affidavit.
Earlier, the high court asked AIIMS to start providing treatment to Sarvesh. The advocate, who appeared for Sarvesh, said that the AIIMS’ action in not providing free treatment is “violating his human and fundamental right to life” and being a government hospital, AIIMS is under a constitutional obligation to provide free medical treatment to the poor.