NewsState-Level Campaign Calls for Urgent Healthcare Reforms

State-Level Campaign Calls for Urgent Healthcare Reforms

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In response to the alarming deaths reported at Nanded hospital in October 2023, the Jan Arogya Abhiyan (JAA) organized a state-level campaign that reached its culmination in a pivotal people’s assembly held in Pune.

The gathering, attended by over 150 activists and healthcare professionals, resulted in the adoption of ten resolutions, emphasizing the imperative need for the enactment of a Right to Healthcare Act in the state.

Representatives from various sectors, including public health experts, health and social organizations, nurses, ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, doctors, and social workers from 12 districts, participated in the assembly.

Dr. Abhay Shukla, the national co-convenor of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, underscored the failure of the central government in addressing fundamental health needs over the past decade, as highlighted by JAA’s report cards. He called for a significant transformation in the healthcare system post-COVID and the Nanded incident.

“Through this assembly, we earnestly appeal to all political parties to prioritize health issues by placing them at the core of their agenda,” Dr. Shukla emphasized.

Sachin Sawant, spokesperson for the Congress Party, expressed concerns about the denial of the right to health, particularly evident in COVID-related deaths. He urged the government to learn from the crisis and actively promote and protect people’s right to health.

NCP leader Prashant Jagtap, from the Sharad Pawar faction, drew attention to the denial of patients’ rights by private hospitals, stating that the growing financial burden imposed by them is becoming a central agenda for his party’s attention.

Ajit Phatke, state executive president of the Aam Aadmi Party, declared his party’s commitment to implementing the people’s health manifesto, with the ten-point program agenda taking precedence in the upcoming elections.

Ten-Point Health Agenda

1. Ensuring the right to healthcare through the enactment of a dedicated law, providing legally guaranteed free, quality services to all in government clinics and hospitals.

2. Massive increase in the health budget, more than doubling government health spending.

3. Advocating for a corruption-free, accountable, and participatory public health system.

4. Regularization of contractual and scheme workers, ensuring fair wages and a supportive working environment for all health workers, enacting a state health humanpower policy.

5. Guaranteeing public health services provision of all necessary medicines free of cost, while regulating and making the prices of medicines in the market affordable.

6. Providing healthcare with dignity to all sections of society, with special attention to those with special needs.

7. Upgrading programs for specific diseases and improving initiatives for disease prevention and communicable disease control.

8. Ending overcharging by private hospitals and protecting patients’ rights, discontinuing the privatization of public health services.

9. Development of a ‘Universal Health Care’ system to replace dysfunctional health insurance schemes, offering free treatment for all in regulated private hospitals along with government services.

10. Implementing multi-dimensional initiatives to reduce unhealthy conditions and influences, moving towards health for all.

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