After HRLN intervention, Punjab govt issues notification promising easier access to treatment for hemophilia


CWP No.24114 of 2014 (O&M) IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH Hemophilia Advocacy Society & Anr vs State of Punjab & Anr Dated March 26, 2018 This petition sought review/modification of the policy framed by the State of Punjab for the treatment of hemophilia (an inherited bleeding disorder that causes exaggerated bleeding and poor blood clotting). The petitioners said that Haryana had revised the policy for Hemophilia treatment to make it more responsive to the needs of the patients; however, Punjab had not done so. In response, Punjab filed an affidavit wherein it stated that a new policy had been formulated by the state government for Hemophilia patients and that this notification had been issued as well. According to the notification, the state had designated Specialized Treatment Centers for Hemophilia under which three Government Medical Colleges -- Govt. Medical College Amritsar, Patiala, and Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot -- shall be strengthened in phase-1 as well as District Hospitals in Phase-2. The notification also said that Integrated Day Care Centres with at least two medical practitioners will be set up in all district hospitals for haemophilia patients. Anti Hemophilia Factor (AHF) is also to be provided free of cost to the patients who are residents of Punjab, among multiple other provisions. The court, therefore, observed that the state government’s notification had addressed the grievances of the petitioners to a “considerable extent” and called for no further directions. However, it permitted the petitioners to contact the respondents if the policy was not implemented properly.