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Rajasthan Assembly Passes Right To Health Bill

Rajasthan Right to Health Bill gives people the right to free emergency treatment at government hospitals and privately-run establishments

Rajasthan Assembly Passes Right To Health Bill
The Rajasthan Right to Health Bill, 2022 passed by voice vote

Jaipur: The Rajasthan Assembly on Tuesday (March 21) passed a bill that gives every resident the right to free emergency treatment at public or designated private hospitals. According to the provisions of the Rajasthan Right to Health Bill, 2022, every resident will have the right to emergency treatment and care “without prepayment” at any “public health institution, health care establishment and designated health care centres”. Before the bill was amended following recommendations by a select committee, the draft mentioned “any health care provider, establishment or facility, including private provider, establishment or facility, public health institution, health care establishment and designated health care centres, qualified”.

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The select committee omitted this part in its report and introduced in its place “public health institution, health care establishment and designated health care centres”.

According to the amended bill that was passed, “designated health care centres” means health care centres as prescribed in the rules.

The rules are yet to be framed.

The bill defines a “health care establishment” as the whole or any part of a public or private institution, facility, building or place operated to provide health care.

If a patient does not pay the charges after emergency care, stabilisation and referral, the government will reimburse the health care provider.

Introduced last September and sent to the select committee, the bill had sparked protests from doctors operating private hospitals and nursing homes.

The bill, which was passed by voice vote, also has a provision to impose fines up to Rs 10,000 on contravening any rule for first offenders and up to Rs 25,000 for subsequent contraventions.

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A patient, during emergency treatment such as for accidents, emergencies due to snake or animal bite and any other, as decided by the State Health Authority, will be treated without prepayment by public health institutions, health care establishments and designated health care centres qualified to provide such care or treatment accordantly to their level of health care.

No health care provider can delay the treatment merely on the grounds of receiving police clearance.

Replying during a debate, Health Minister Parsardi Lal Meena said the government is committed to providing health care to the people and the bill looks after public interest.

There have been complaints that some private facilities refused treatment even to Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme card holders, the minister said.

According to Mr Meena, the new bill will ensure that such practices are stopped and every patient, even if they don’t hold a Chiranjeevi scheme card, can get free treatment at the designated facilities.

As part of the Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme, the Rajasthan government provides health insurance of Rs 10 lakh and also bears the expense for organ transplants. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in his budget speech announced to increase this amount to Rs 25 lakh.

Commenting on the agitation, the minister said all suggestions, including those from the doctors, in the select committee report have been accepted.

“The doctors are agitating despite their suggestions being accepted. This is not justified. They are demanding withdrawal of the bill, is it justified?” he asked.

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Mr Meena added that Rajasthan is becoming a model state in the health care and the government spends seven per cent of the state budget on the sector. Mr Meena said,

The Right to Health Bill is in the interest of the public. The state government had sent this bill to the select committee on the suggestion of the members of the House. The suggestions, which were received by members of the select committee and doctors, have been included in the bill.

Speaking during the debate earlier, Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said all stakeholders should move together.

He suggested that the bill be applied to 50-bed multi-specialty hospitals as these have all facilities, adding that there should be a single-window mechanism for grievance redress.

In response, Mr Meena said Rathore’s suggestions would be incorporated while framing the rules.

The opposition BJP also staged a walkout during Zero Hour, condemning police action against the agitating private doctors.

The police used water cannons to disperse private doctors protesting against the bill as they tried to march towards the assembly.

The doctors have been agitating against the bill, claiming that it would increase “bureaucratic interference”.

Also Read: Digital Solutions Hold Capacity To Revolutionise Healthcare Delivery Systems: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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