A Public Interest Litigation in the Madras High Court has asked for dengue to be included in the chief minister’s insurance scheme so that the government covers the cost of treatment, The Hindu reported on Saturday.
Responding to the plea, the High Court on Friday asked the Tamil Nadu government to clarify whether people covered by the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme were eligible for cashless medical treatment at private hospitals if they were admitted with dengue. Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar asked Additional Government Pleader Vasudha Thiagarajan to get the details by October 13.
The direction comes after advocate AP Suryaprakasam filed the PIL and cited the case of a woman who killed her six-month-old son before committing suicide because she could not afford his treatment for dengue, The Times of India reported. Suryaprakasam also alleged that the government had ignored repeated warnings about the danger of a dengue outbreak in Tamil Nadu during the monsoon.
The chief justice agreed with the petitioner when he pointed out how accumulation of garbage in rivers flowing through Chennai was an issue, according to The Hindu report. Suryaprakasam claimed that Rs 900 crore was allotted to desilt the rivers and keep them free from garbage, but there was no difference in their maintenance.
The bench also asked the commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation to file a status report on the steps taken to tackle mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. It asked the corporation what had been done so far to clean water bodies in the city, such as the Buckingham Canal and the Adyar and Cooum rivers.