New Delhi, January 24- A 17-year-old boy from Bihar’s Vaishali district died waiting for a bone marrow transplant at AIIMS despite being eligible for assistance under Ayushman Bharat.
He was even eligible for Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN), a scheme meant for below poverty line (BPL) patients.
As per the rules, those who are covered under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna cannot avail the benefits of RAN scheme.
Under RAN scheme, the patient was eligible for maximum financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh and the cost for bone marrow transplant involved Rs 12 lakh.
Neither bone marrow transplant is covered under Ayushman Bharat scheme nor rules allow the petitioner to avail benefits of RAN scheme, due to which the child has been left with no option except to die.
The boy, Pankaj was suffering from aplastic anemia and a bone marrow transplant could possibly have cured him.
Four months back, Pankaj’s older brother Pappu was matched as a donor but the procedure costs Rs 12 lakh even in AIIMS.
Pankaj’s mother Sonia Devi had tearfully said how they had sold the only plot of land they had and the entire family had moved to Delhi a year back for his treatment.
“All that is left in the village is the hut in which my elderly in-laws stay,” she said. She pleaded to be allowed to return the Ayushman card so that her son could get treated under RAN, for which they were eligible as they had a BPL card.
“I do mazdoori in Delhi to make ends meet and we have rented a room near Azadpur Mandi, barely make enough for us to manage. My wife and two sons are with me. This Ayushman card has blocked the only hope we had as BPL patients,” Vishwanath Saini, Pankaj’s father had said.