Rajasthan Government Prepares Right to Health Bill and Defines Patients’ Rights | Latest India News

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JAIPUR: As Covid cases rise again due to the Omicron variant, the government of Rajasthan has prepared a draft of the country’s first Right to Health Act which sets out the rights of patients, their attendants and healthcare providers. health care and provides a mechanism to address grievances from stakeholders, according to senior Rajasthan government officials.

A senior Rajasthan government official familiar with the development said the bill would be introduced in the budget session of the state assembly, which is due to begin in March, after winning cabinet approval. ‘State. A final draft will be prepared for consideration by the cabinet after consultation with all stakeholders, the official quoted above said.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the 2021 budget announced that the state will ensure the right to health for all. He also announced a universal health care plan worth 3,500 crore, under which every family in the state would receive medical insurance benefits up to 5,000,000.

According to officials, the right to health guarantees certain rights to people in public and private health facilities.

“Government of Rajasthan is already providing facilities like free medicine and testing, Chiranjeevi health insurance of up to 5 lakh etc. This law will not only ensure effective implementation, but also the rights of patients and their carers,” he said.

He said that the bill provides for the right of the patient or his companion to know the cost of treatment for certain illnesses, the right to consult another doctor and to request the discharge of the patient if he is not satisfied with the processing. The bill also makes it mandatory for hospitals to maintain secrecy of a patient’s health records and ensure informed consent when sharing health records.

“The goal is to ensure equity and affordable health care and the treatment of patients with dignity and respect, as well as transparency in the management of health systems,” said another senior Department of Health official. health.

For this, the second official said that the hospital will have to disclose to patients or their attendants the disease, the treatment adopted and their right to seek a second opinion from other doctors.

The official said another highlight of the proposed bill is the management of human resources in each government medical facility in urban and rural areas through the patient-health worker ratio.

“It is generally seen that health personnel are surplus in urban areas and insufficient in rural areas. The law will ensure that there is similarity of health personnel vis-à-vis patients and positions. For this, a transfer and posting policy would come into effect, which would ensure that health workers would have to work in rural areas,” he said. The official added that a similar policy has been in place in Tamil Nadu since 1991 and has been successful in improving rural health care.

A third official responsible for the issue of the right to health said that the new law will provide for the fixing of prices for medicines and treatments even in private hospitals, whose number of patients is increasing every year. “The bill provides for setting tariffs or flat rates, whether it is heart or liver transplantation, even in private hospitals,” he said.

The third official said the bill provides a grievance and redress mechanism for blocks, districts and states. “The government would set up a state health authority to address grievances and also issue standards for hospitals, including pricing and basic facilities to be provided. A committee composed of elected officials, locals, health and administration will be formed at all levels to redress grievances, whether related to behavior, infrastructure, medication, treatment or accidents, etc. . “, did he declare.

The state government will also include provisions of laws such as Rajasthan Health Insurance Services Persons and Health Insurance Services Institutions Act, Rajasthan Epidemics Act, etc. in the RTH, said the third official.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said they were awaiting central government rules under the Clinical Establishments Act to clarify what all can be part of the Right to Health Act. The rules will provide minimum standards for all clinics and hospitals, including private ones. “The final touches to the bill would be given once the rules are in place. A project is being prepared in consultation with stakeholders. “When the rules are notified, the state will launch the right to health appropriately,” Gehlot said.

On why a right to health care law, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) Rajasthan organizer Dr. Narendra Gupta said that the need to enact a right to health care has become more urgent and acute following of the Covid-19 pandemic which has wreaked havoc across the globe infecting over 257 million and killing 5.1 million in a short period of time. In India alone, according to government records, around 3.5 million people have been infected and more than 4.6 lakh have died.

“The possibility of a resurgence of this pandemic or new pandemics is still there and it is high time that the Right to Health Care Act be enacted to save citizens from catastrophic financial hardship in accessing health care,” did he declare. He added that India’s health expenditure is about 3.5% of GDP and 1.15% of this expenditure is government expenditure, which is among the lowest expenditure of any country in the world, except for a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

People’s rights activist and RTI activist Nikhil Dey, who had participated in the consultation on the bill, emphasized the implementation of the right to health. “We had suggested putting the draft in the public domain. The human resource policy and grievance mechanism is the most important aspect of the bill. Rights and prerogatives are useless if there is no redress mechanism for which there should be accountability law. Social auditing should take place at all levels, be it CHC or PHC,” he said.

Secretary of Private Hospital and Nursing Home Society, Jaipur, Dr. Vijay Kapoor said all government programs seem to be good as they are for the welfare of people but government should also look out for the interests of hospitals . “Already the feelings of the public are against doctors and the medical fraternity is faced with a problem. Any new policies should not affect our work. Free work should be there for medical professionals,” he said. declared.

According to the 71st cycle survey of the ONSS carried out in 2017, almost 50 million people each year slip into poverty or fail to get out of poverty because of the payments they have made for health care. health. A large part of these expenses relate to medicines, medical consultations, etc. falling ill due to financial hardship, Gupta said.

The Indian Constitution does not expressly recognize the right to health as a fundamental right under Part III of the Constitution (Basic Rights). However, through judicial interpretation, it has been read into the fundamental right to life and personal liberty (Article 21) and is now considered an inseparable part of the right to life, legal experts have said. They added that the guiding principles of state policy enshrined in Chapter IV of the Constitution oblige the state to protect people’s health.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sachin Saini is the senior correspondent for the HT Rajasthan edition. It covers politics, tourism, forest, home, panchayati raj and rural development, and development journalism.
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