With parliamentary elections round the corner, political parties are making multiple promises to pull in votes. But, unfortunately, healthcare, which is one of the greatest challenges faced by the country, does not figure in their poll manifesto.

In a bid to remind these parties, the members of People’s Health Movement released a health manifesto on the occasion of World Health Day here on Monday.

Releasing the manifesto, members of the movement said health is a right of every citizen and urged political parties to take steps to enact the Right to Health Act which assures access to good quality and comprehensive health care for all.

“While the Congress, Aam Aamdi party, and the left parties have included Right to Health Act in their priority list, others must also include it,” said P. Rajamanickam, a member of People’s Health Movement.

Further the members said that the Central government should increase public spending on health from a meagre 1.04 per cent of the GDP in the Eleventh Plan to 3 per cent by 2020.

Some of the other demands include strengthening of anganwadis and Public Distribution System in the country, enactment of the National Clinical Establishment Act that would promote genuine ethical health care providers and contain costs of health care provided by private hospitals, to ensure access to essential and safe drugs to poor and needy and to eliminate corruption in public health system by brining transparent policies for appointments, promotions and procurement of goods and services.

“The Centre and State governments should stop privatisation of health care facilities and increase investment in public health facilities since 90 percent of the population in India visits government hospitals for health care,” said Bimla Chandrashekar, EKTA foundation.

On the Chief Minister’s health insurance scheme, the members said it was a failure and said less than 25 per cent get benefitted from the scheme.

The money was being diverted to insurance companies and private hospitals, they alleged.

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