Skip to main content

Privatization "introduces" deep holes in pockets of Gujarat's poorer sections: Healthcare to pregnent women

By Our Representative
Coming down heavily on Government of India initiative, Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojana (JSSY), meant to ensure “free” and “cashless” services to pregnant women for deliveries in public health facilities, antenatal care, and to infants up to a year, a top advocacy group has found that, in Gujarat, “more than half the women (51.4%) incurred out-of-pocket expenditure for antenatal care, and 48% for deliveries.”
Calling this as the result of the ugly face of privatization intruding into the health sector in Gujarat's rural areas, propagated as a model for toher states to follow, the advocacy group, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) said its survey of 500 pregnant women in Gujarat in the first half of 2015 suggests, most pregnant women are forced to go to private sector, “where JSSY is not operational.”
Giving the example of Anand district in Cenral Gujarat, which is economically developed, where the public health system is functioning relatively better, the JSA says, here, “the unregulated private sector has managed to capture much of health services.”
“In Anand district's Pansora Primary Health Centre (PHC), 80% of the women incurred out-of-pocket expenditure even for antenatal care, which is supposed to be provided by the public health system. Even in public facilities, up to 53.4% women (in Rasnol PHC) incurred the expenditure of up to Rs 6000”, JSA says.
“By contrast”, JSA says, “The backward tribal Panchmahals and Dahod, supposedly high priority districts, the government health system is weak, lacking resources and staff. The impoverished and already vulnerable women are pushed to the private sector. Around 75% of those who went to the private sector incurred expenditures for delivery up to Rs. 5,000”.
JSA's revelations came ahead of a crucial public hearing by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), to last for about six months starting in November, to be undertaken in different parts of India, on right to health and how it should be implemented in India. The hearing will be held in association with JSA.
JSA also revealed that as of March 2014, 136 blood banks were functioning in Gujarat, of which just 30 were managed by the state government at 12 medical college hospitals, nine district hospitals, two special hospitals, one taluka hospital, four municipal hospitals, one military hospitals, and one at a private medical college. As many as 82 blood banks were managed by charitable trusts, and 24 by private bodies.
“Eight districts did not have a government blood bank”, JSA said, adding, “In Narmada, a tribal district, there was no blood bank, either government or charitable/private.”
Releasing these facts at a press conference in Ahmedabad, JSA said, that while Gujarat may have reduced maternal mortality rate (MMR), an earlier survey report by it suggests there is little positive impact of the state's health programme on women who face “multiple vulnerabilities – young, SC/ST, low education, wage labourers, migrants.”
The report, in association with CommonHealth, another advocacy group, titled “Social Autopsies of Maternal Death in Selected Areas of Gujarat”, says that “41% of the maternal deaths occurred in very young women, below the age of 25 years – seven were between 16 and 20 years, more than half, i.e. 27 of the 46 deaths were of SC and ST women.”
The report says, “This is a higher proportion than the state’s SC-ST population of around 22 % (2011 Census). Almost half of the women who died – 46 % - were illiterate in comparison to 37% female illiteracy in Gujarat.”
It continues, “Most of the women who died had multiple occupations /responsibilities – in addition to domestic work”. Based on a survey of 45 women who suffered death, the report says, “25 of them were involved in either agricultural work or/and wage labour. Nine of the women who died migrated for longer than 2-3 months without safety of home and other basic amenities or any social security.”

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Kailash Satyarthi NGO makes slum kids laud RSS founder Hedgewar as freedom fighter

By Rajiv Shah  In a move which may raise many an eyebrow, a Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi-supported child rights NGO has celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi-intitiated Har Ghar Tiranga by commemorating 75 freedom fighters by "narrating their famous deeds and chanting slogans of each leader", including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai and a person who had little or nothing common with the freedom movement -- RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar. A communique from the Kailash Satyarthi Childrens Foundation (KSCF), which organised the event, said among the freedom fighters celebrated by 75 children on the occasion of 75 years of India's independence placing photographs of each freedom fighter included that of Hedgewar, who is alleged to have maintained a distance from Indian Independence movement led by Gandhiji. According to Hedgewar's biography, when Gandhiji launched the Salt Satyagraha in 1930, Hedgewar sent information ev

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Gujarat's 'low-key' communalism: right-wing groups compete for anti-Muslim space

By Rajiv Shah  Noticing the emergence of a novel trend, a just-released report based on a fact-finding team's observations following its interaction in particular with Hindu and Muslim political activists, administrators and police officials, has claimed that a major reason why chasm between the two communities in Gujarat has lately reached new heights is, a veritable competition between Hindu right-wing groups and leaders to capture the existing communal space. Titled "Hindu Right, Communal Riots and Demolitions: Emerging Pattern of Communal Riots in India", the report has been prepared against the backdrop of what it calls "low intensity" communalism which has characterised rioting in Gujarat in the recent past, especially after the 2002 communal carnage, one of the worst in Independent India. Especially focusing on riots in two Gujarat towns, Himmatnagar and Khambhat, which took place on April 10, the day clashes broke also out in different parts of India on

Gujarat govt 'contradicts' MHA memo while freeing Bilkis Bano gangrape convicts

By Our Representative  The All-India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah "must answer for the decision to free Bilkis Bano's gang rapists." In a statement, AIPWA has wondered, "What was the basis of the Gujarat Government’s decision to free those men on August 15, 2022, to celebrate what the PM Modi calls India’s Amrit Kaal? Was remission and freedom a reward for rape and murder of Muslims?" The statement comes amidst an Ahmedabad-based legal rights non-pofit, which took up the cause of Bilkis Bano and fought her case right up to the Supreme Court, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), suggesting that the Gujarat government move to allow remission to the convicts contradicts the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Guidelines for Granting Special Remission to Prisoners on August 15, 2022 (75th anniversary of Independence), January 26, 2023, and again on August 15, 2023. Citing the MHA notificat

Need to ask at today's 'critical juncture' of India's history: Whose Freedom@75?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  The official propaganda states that: “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of it's people, culture and achievements. This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The official journey of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commenced on 12th March 2021 which started a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of independence and will end post a year on 15th August 2023.” So as India completes a landmark seventy-five years of freedom – a platinum jubilee – the only question one needs to ask at this critical juncture of the country’s history is “whose freedom@75?” Since March 2020, it has been a di

Har ghar tiranga: will the hungry bellies raise their hand to unfurl the national flag?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians are going to unfurl the tricolour to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence on 15th of August 2022. Indian freedom struggle has not only shaped India as a modern constitutional democracy but also shaped the nature of state, society and citizenship. The anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist struggle were the four pillars of Indian freedom struggle that laid the foundation of a sovereign nation state promised to pursue a society based on socialist, scientific and secular values to ensure egalitarian citizenship rights without any form of discrimination. These inalienable values are central to the unity, integrity, peace, prosperity and progress of India as a multicultural society and secular state. It is time to celebrate these values and promises of Indian independence, a product of struggles and sacrifice of millions of working-class people across the country. India at 75 is still a young nation but old e

RSS, Sangh Parivar consider tricolour as "state flag" and not "national flag"

By Teesta Setalvad* Today, when the nation has been independent for 67 years, the Sangh Parivar is set to launch ‘Tiranga yatras’ and Satyagrahas to defend the honour of the flag and the nation. Yet when the Indian people were involved in the decades-long struggle for freedom against British imperialism, the RSS was conspicuous by its absence in the struggle. When thousands of people faced lathis, bullets and jail sentences for hoisting the tiranga and participated all over the country in satyagraha during the Civil Disobedience and Quit India movements against the British Raj, the Sangh publicly took the stand that it would not take part in the movement and seldom missed the opportunity of assuring the British rulers that they would keep to the right side of colonial law and avoid any clash with the authorities. Of course the reason given for this was that the Sangh was secretly strengthening itself and would take on British imperialism only when it was strong enough to do so! A simil