Health care is a basic right and it is the duty of governments to provide it to citizens without charging them, a meeting of academicians, medical professionals and citizens demanded in the city on Friday.

In a resolution addressed to the Tamil Nadu government and the Centre, they said, “When 77 per cent of people have a purchasing capacity that was below Rs. 20 per day, it is the duty of the State to ensure that all the people are given health care from cradle to grave without charging them. Health is a basic and fundamental right and people are eligible partners as they are financing the government through taxes. Public health and medicine are inseparable and the State should widen and deepen health care through its institutions and ensure people are given quality care with dignity.”

The national seminar on the topic “Health is a basic right” was held by concerned citizens from various walks of life to mark the Tenth Anniversary of the Tamil Nadu Health Development Association (TNHDA), in association with the Anthropology Department, University of Madras.

The resolution adopted on the occasion further stated, “In States like Tamil Nadu, there is an infrastructure, and government should plan judiciously and allocate sufficient funds without any ceiling (for medical care). To start with, this should be done by providing 6 per cent of GDP for health care. The government should give free, compulsory education and free health care to all.”

Col. Dr. G. Thiruvasagam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras inaugurated the Seminar. Dr. M.A. Kalam, HOD, Anthropology Department, and Dr. C.S. Rex Sargunam among others highlighted the importance of making health a basic right.