What is Rajasthan’s Right to Health Bill and why Doctors are against it?
Right to Health Bill: Rajasthan became the first state to pass the Right to Health Bill, which gives every resident of the state the right to avail of free services at all public and private health facilities. However, the visionary step of the Rajasthan administration is facing major backlash from the opposition party as well as from a section of doctors, who are demanding the withdrawal of the legislation.
CM Ashok Gehlot in his many tweets addressed the issue. Scroll through them below:
प्रिय चिकित्सकों, RTH पर भ्रमित न हों! pic.twitter.com/h1liYuTTHs— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) March 26, 2023
मुख्य सचिव श्रीमती उषा शर्मा की अध्यक्षता में शासन सचिवालय में रविवार को राइट टू हेल्थ बिल के संबंध में चिकित्सकों के एक प्रतिनिधिमंडल के साथ वार्ता हुई। उन्होंने कहा कि चिकित्सक भी सरकार के एक परिवार की तरह है अतः दोनों जनता की सेवा के लिए पूर्णतया प्रतिबद्ध हैं। pic.twitter.com/QDLVduuFc6— Government of Rajasthan (@RajGovOfficial) March 27, 2023
ये वीडियो दिखाता है कि क्यों हर राज्य के लिए जरूरी है 'राइट टू हेल्थ'- RTH pic.twitter.com/30WakBhK7C— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) March 27, 2023
What is the Right to Health Bill?
The Rajasthan Right to Health Bill was introduced in the Rajasthan Assembly in the year 2022. It aims to make provisions for the security and satisfaction of equal rights to health and well-being for every individual. In simple words, if a patient is unable to pay the charges for emergency care, stabilisation or referral, the government will reimburse the health care provider.
The Key features of the Right to Health Bill are:
- The Bill grants residents of the state the right to health as well as access to healthcare. This involves providing inhabitants of the state with free medical services at any clinical facility.
- The state government is required by the bill to uphold the right to health and maintain public health.
- At both the state and district levels, health authorities will be established. These organisations will create and execute systems for managing public health emergencies and providing high-quality healthcare.
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What does the Right to Health Bill provide?
- Right to health: Everyone will have access to free outdoor and indoor patient departments, medications, tests in public health facilities, and emergency care and treatment at all healthcare providers without advance payment or police approval.
- Additional rights for residents: Ordinary residents of Rajasthan will have certain additional rights to free healthcare services from any clinical establishment and free transportation, treatment, and insurance coverage against road accidents at all healthcare establishments.
- Obligations of state government: The state government will formulate and prescribe a public health model, make appropriate provisions in the state budget, and make available healthcare services with due consideration for distance, geographical area, or population density. A human resource policy will also be created and legitimised by the administration to guarantee the fair distribution of healthcare professionals.
- Health Authorities: At the state and district levels, separate organisations with the names State Health Authority (SHA) and District Health Authority (DHA), respectively, will be established. These authorities will develop, put into place, and oversee systems for managing public health emergencies and providing high-quality healthcare.
- Grievance redressal: The Law offers a procedure for handling complaints about the withholding of services and violations of rights. For submitting concerns, a 24-hour support helpline and website will be developed. Agencies including the Local Health Authority and the State Health Authority will be involved in cases of unresolved complaints.
Why are doctors opposing Rajasthan’s Right to Health Bill?
A huge number of doctors are on the streets and called a strike to show their displeasure towards the new bill. Private healthcare providers have criticised the law, claiming that it ignores advice from medical professionals, is ill-prepared, and fails to take into account the practical realities of the system.
Additionally, the protesting doctors believe that the law overregulates the medical industry, as there are already many other bills that provide facilitates free medical services. They consider the bill's implementation to be an impractical approach to healthcare and a potential burden on private hospitals.