JSA demands withdrawal of health centres from PPP mode in Rajasthan

The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, functioning as the Rajasthan chapter of the People’s Health Movement, on Friday demanded that the State government withdraw the Primary Health Centres with an “unsatisfactory performance” from the public-private partnership. As many as 36 of these PHCs in both rural and urban areas in the State have been found to be unsatisfactory.

The State government had earlier this year assured a Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court that the PPP mode experiment would be discontinued with immediate effect wherever there was a report about unsatisfactory performance of the PHC. As per the government’s submission, 31 rural PHCs and 5 urban PHCs were found to be unsatisfactory after an assessment.

JSA member Chhaya Pachauli, director of Chittorgarh-based Prayas Centre for Health Equity, said the movement’s review had revealed that all the PHCs found unsatisfactory in the State government’s assessment continued to be run by private agencies in the PPP mode. The government has reportedly not abided by its own assurance given to the court.

‘Violation of order’

“This is not just a violation of the court’s order but also an irresponsible act on the part of the State government, which has left people’s health at the mercy of private bodies found to be ill-equipped and inefficient in operating the PHCs,” Ms. Pachauli said. She demanded that the PHCs be brought under direct operation by the government and withdrawn from private partners.

The JSA has shot off a letter to Chief Secretary Rajeeva Swarup, pointing out that the failure to withdraw the 36 PHCs from the PPP mode would amount to contempt of the High Court in view of its direction passed on January 10 this year after the State government’s assurance.

The court had on August 1, 2019, passed an extensive direction for appointment of district-level teams and assessment of PHCs around the necessary parameters for their functioning on a batch of public interest writ petitions alleging “glaring inadequacies” in the PPP scheme implemented in the public health sector.

In its January 10-judgment, the court acknowledged the government’s assurance and directed that the State would continue to monitor performance of PHCs every three months. “Before giving any new PHC on the PPP mode, the private partner’s ability to provide necessary infrastructure shall be verified and it will be made to a sign a bond for paying compensation in the event of underperformance,” the Bench directed.

The State government had handed over 75 PHCs in rural and 37 in urban areas to private entities. The PHCs found unsatisfactory are in the districts such as Jaipur, Alwar, Jaisalmer, Bharatpur, Udaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Jalore, Pali, Dausa and Rajsamand.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 1:02:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/jsa-demands-withdrawal-of-health-centres-from-ppp-mode-in-rajasthan/article32469763.ece

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