Leading health care provider Devi Prasad Shetty has advocated legislation towards right to health care. Once such a law is enacted, there would be many positive changes across the country to bring about affordable health care, he said. The country lacks a mechanism similar to ESI (Employees’ State Insurance) in the private sector to take care of the expenses when a worker or an employee needs medical intervention, he said.

Dr. Shetty, Chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya group of hospitals, was interacting with media persons here on Saturday on the international accreditation his hospital received from the Joint Commission International (JCI). This is the first JCI accreditation for any hospital in Jaipur and second for the group after the Narayana Hrudayalaya Heart Hospital in Bangalore.

“I am sure the companies would not mind paying Rs.300-500 a year per employee to any organisation which can take care of a medical emergency. But no such body exists at present,” Dr. Shetty said. He cited the Karnataka Government’s Arogya Bhagya scheme for police personnel in this context and said that would be an example worth emulating.

Dr. Shetty appreciated the initiatives taken by Rajasthan in health care and termed the recent free medicine scheme introduced in the State a great job. “All these schemes can work when the Government is there. The private parties cannot carry out as much as the Government due to various constraints including resources. Moreover, the poor people trust only one organisation and that is the Government,” he noted.

Talking about the JCI recognition for the Jaipur hospital, Dr. Shetty said his effort would be to make it affordable for more people while maintaining high-quality health care. The multi-specialty hospital in Jaipur would be expanded to have more beds soon, he said.

The group is also planning to expand in the North and the East. Two new hospitals coming up are in Bhubaneshwar and Siliguri, Dr. Shetty said.