Following a Supreme Court order, the Centre has asked all states and union territories to issue instructions to government and private hospitals that acid attack victims should be given free medical treatment.
As a form of some respite for acid attack victims and their families, the Supreme Court has passed an order which directs all states and union territories to provide free medical treatment for acid attack victims.
Following the order, the Centre has asked all states to send out instructions to government and private hospitals informing them that free treatment should be provided to victims of acid attack.
309 acid attack incidents from across the country were reported in 2014. The states also have to ensure that along with free medical treatment, there is availability of medicines, bed and food for the victims. Costly corrective surgeries also have to be included in the free treatment. This order has been circulated to all states and UTs.
A pilot program on the same lines was also started by the Ministry for Prevention of Burns Injuries, in 2010. It was initiated to set up burn units in three medical colleges and six district hospitals of three states.
According to Union Health Minister J P Nadda, this program is continued as the ‘National Programme for Prevention and Management of Burns Injuries (NPPMBI)’, for setting up burns units in 67 state government medical colleges and 19 district hospitals, during the 12th Five Year Plan. Burn units are strengthened and better equipped for managing burn injuries, including acid burns, as a part of this program.
The Health Minister informed that there are no reports of refusal of treatment to acid attack victim by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, and the other three central government hospitals in the capital. “The Health Ministry has issued a letter dated 02.05.2013 to all state governments/UTs with a request to issue necessary instructions to all government and private hospitals in the states/UTs to provide free treatment to the acid attack victims as per the provisions of Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013,” he said.