Rajasthan became the first state to pass in assembly the right to the health bill. The bill talks about the rights of residents of the state to avail themselves of free outpatient department (OPD) services and inpatient services at all public health facilities and selected private facilities.
- The bill was passed despite the opposition, which wanted to bring some changes.
KEY FEATURES OF THE BILL
- The bill provides the right to health and access to healthcare for the people of the state.
- Free health care services at any clinic establishment will be provided in the state.
- The bill sets certain conditions or obligations on the government of the state to ensure the right to health and also maintain public health.
- According to the bill, health authorities will be set up at the state as well as district levels. These authorities will be responsible for formulating, implementing, monitoring, and developing mechanisms for quality health care and the management of public health emergencies.
- The bill provides a mechanism for resolving complaints against denial of services and violations of rights. For this, a web portal and helpline centre will be established. The concerned officer will have 24 hours to respond.
Key Issues in the Bill
- There is no provision of remuneration from private health establishments for providing free services. This will make such establishments unviable.
- The Bill requires the District Health Authority to upload the actions taken on the web portal for various complaints. But the bill does not specify who will have access to the report. This may go against the patient’s right to privacy in medical cases.
- Implementation of this right to health may increase the financial burden on the state, and the bill does not provide for such additional costs.