The Assam government on Thursday tabled the Assam Public Health Bill, 2010, which seeks to make health care facility a basic right to every citizen, on the floor of the Assam Assembly.

The proposed legislation seeks to provide for protection and fulfilment of rights in relation to health and wellbeing, health equity and justice for achieving the goal of health for all.

‘First State'

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists that by introducing this bill Assam was going to be the first State to ensure right to health for every citizen.

The Bill seeks to make it mandatory for all hospitals, both government and private, including Nursing Homes to provide free health care services maintaining appropriate protocol of treatment for first 24 hours to an emergency patient of any kind.

Dr. Sarma said that the bill would come up for discussion on last day of the ongoing budget session and hoped that members of the House would come forth with valuable suggestions and help enactment of the bill.

‘Flexible'

The Minister, however, said that he would be flexible and if the opposition insisted on referring it to Select Committee he would then wait for the Bill to be passed in the next session if it can not be passed in the current session.