- Rajasthan has become the first state to pass in Assembly the Right to Health Bill.
Key Features of the Bill
- The Bill provides the right to health and access to healthcare for people in the state. This includes free health care services at any clinical establishment to residents of the state.
- The Bill sets certain obligations on the state government to ensure the right to health and maintain public health.
- Health Authorities will be set up at the state and district level. These bodies will formulate, implement, monitor, and develop mechanisms for quality healthcare and management of public health emergencies.
Need for the Bill in Rajasthan
- Share in Population: Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Rajasthan–account for about 47% of India’s population; they are more rural and socioeconomically backward compared to the rest of the country.
- They are also high focus states under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), in view of their relatively higher fertility and mortality indicators.
- Post COVID: The COVID pandemic has exposed the incompetence of the health care system and refutation of basic health amenities.
- Simple functions of health care such as testing, contact tracing or even changing the behaviour of citizens required the intervention and undivided attention of the district administration.
- During the pandemic, even non-COVID patients were denied treatment and still they were unable to give adequate treatment to all the COVID affected patients.
- Demand for Right to Health: It’s also been nearly a decade since various civil organisations have been demanding and persuading different governments to propose laws that make health a public right.
- Political Will: It was only in the election manifestos of a couple of political parties that this issue was highlighted and political commitment was visible. However, that went to the gallows as they never came near to being in power or having any say as such in government decision making.