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

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

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.

Insider plot to kill Deendayal Upadhyay? What RSS pracharak Balraj Madhok said

By Shamsul Islam*  Balraj Madhok's died on May 2, 2016 ending an era of old guards of Hindutva politics. A senior RSS pracharak till his death was paid handsome tributes by the RSS leaders including PM Modi, himself a senior pracharak, for being a "stalwart leader of Jan Sangh. Balraj Madhok ji's ideological commitment was strong and clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation and society. I had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions". The RSS also issued a formal condolence message signed by the Supremo Mohan Bhagwat on behalf of all swayamsevaks, referring to his contribution of commitment to nation and society. He was a leading RSS pracharak on whom his organization relied for initiating prominent Hindutva projects. But today nobody in the RSS-BJP top hierarchy remembers/talks about Madhok as he was an insider chronicler of the immense degeneration which was spreading as an epidemic in the high echelons of th

India 'neglecting' air, water, vegetation as its world air quality index ranking decelerates

By Dr Gurinder Kaur* The World Air Quality Report 2023 , prepared by a Swiss technology company IQAir, was released on 19 March 2024. According to this report, India is the third most polluted country in the world after Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the capital of India, New Delhi, is the most polluted capital in the world.