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

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Banned? Indian ports 'received' 38 US plastic waste containers reexported from Indonesia

By Rajiv Shah
An Indonesia-based international environmental watchdog group has dug out what it has called “a global pollution shell game”, stating how officials in Indonesia approved re-exports of “illegal” US waste shipments containing plastics mainly to India, as also to other Asian countries -- Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam -- instead of returning them to the US “as promised.”

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

'Discussed' with Modi, Gujarat Rann Sarovar proposal for Kutch runs into rough weather

By Rajiv Shah
Top Saurashtra industrialist Jaysukhbhai Patel’s by now controversial proposal to convert the 4,900 sq km Little Rann of Kutch area, an eco-sensitive zone – a UNESCO biosphere, world’s only wild ass reserve, and a nesting ground of lesser flamingoes – into a huge sweet water lake, called Rann Sarovar, has suffered a major roadblock. At least three Central agencies have expressed serious doubts about its feasibility.