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Declare health a fundamental right: Doctors

They demand that is brought under the concurrent list

Public health and hospitals be brought under concurrent list and health be declared as fundamental right — are among the top recommendations of the High-Level Group (HLG) on Health Sector (2019) submitted to the Fifteenth Finance Commission. The HLG includes top doctors across India — Dr. Randeep Guleria, director All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Devi Shetty, chairman, Narayan Health City, Dr. Naresh Trehan, chairman, Medanta City and Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India.

The other recommendations include —- achieving a public health expenditure of 2.5 %, by 2025 undergraduate should be equal to post graduate seats, cadre of family medicine doctors be restored and the government should work at creating 3,000 to 5,000 small hospitals in next 5 years in tier 2 & tier 3 cities. The group has also suggested that the National Health Authority (NHA) can act as a strategic purchaser and collective negotiator for negotiating rates of medical devices and supplies.

The role and function of the HLG includes optimising the use of existing financial resources and to incentive the state government’s effort on fulfillment of well-defined health parameter and also evaluate the existing regulator framework in the health sector and examine its strength and weakness.

“There is a need for larger allocation of funds for health sector in general to meet the ambitious targets of public health expenditure on health and raise it to 2.5 % of GDP, as envisaged in the National Health Policy 2017,’’ noted the report.

It added that Primary Health Care should be the number one fundamental commitment of each and every state and added that in coming five years 3,000-5,000 small hospitals (200 beds each) may be created close to the community, which necessitates the participation of private sector in achieving the same. Government can work out the various modalities of incentivising the investment by private sector so as to attract the equity required to develop this infrastructure in tier 2 and 3 cities.

It has also noted that NHA may devise a comprehensive health insurance scheme for people having formal employment to overcome the financial challenge faced in availing health services. This, besides highlighting the fact that there is a need for larger role to be played by nursing professionals and the concept of nurse practitioners, physician assistant, nurse anesthetist should be introduced for better utilisation of nursing professionals.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 7:58:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/declare-health-a-fundamental-right-doctors/article30628209.ece

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