Thalassaemia patients protest unavailability of medicines

Thalassaemia patients protest unavailability of medicines

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2

Thalassaemia patients are finding themselves in a difficult situation as the required medicines are not available at the Civil Hospital here.

Left with no option, they have to shell out a hefty amount every month for their medicines. Aggravating the matter, the thalassemia OPD was also lying shut at the Civil Hospital today.

Sukrit, a thalassemia patient, said although there was the OPD at the hospital, it was lying closed. Left with no option, they had to go to a private hospital and spend a lot of money for blood transfusion and consultation.

“Both me and my brother are thalassaemic and need blood transfusion every month. At government hospitals, it is done free of cost, but since the thalassemia OPD at the Civil Hospital is shut today, the patients will have to go to private hospitals. A minimum of Rs3000 is spent on one patient and in case the doctor prescribes tests, that costs extra money,” he said.

The patients have to be on medication regularly and for the past one month, a couple of medicines are also not available at the hospital and it is proving troublesome for the patients.

“Now not only for treatment, we have to spend a huge amount on medicines as well, while the government is giving treatment free of cost. Tablet defrijet and tablet kefler are not coming for the past one month and today when we reached the hospital, we were told that tablet kelfer had arrived, while the other medicine was still not available,” said another thalassaemia patient, Tanya Bajaj.

She said the medicines of other brands were available, but the patients were having health issues with that medicine and they needed medicine from a specific company only.

“We are paying for medicines from our own pocket. A single strip costs Rs420 and in addition, the cost of the blood transfusion is also borne by us when the OPD is closed. The government claims to provide free treatment and medicines to these patients, but the reality is opposite,” said Manpreet Singh, a patient.

“Today when we met the senior medical officer of the Civil Hospital in this regard, she told us to take medicines from other company, while about the thalassaemia ward, she said there was no staff and due to Covid, the OPD was lying shut,” added Manpreet.

At this, the thalassemia patients got together and protested at the Civil Hospital in this regard.

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