Skip to main content

Why delay in implementing Rajasthan health rights law?, asks Jan Swasthya Abhiyan

By Our Representative 

The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) Rajasthan chapter, in a letter to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, endorsed by more than 70 organisations and networks, has demanded framing and notification of rules to the Rajasthan Right to Health Act 2022, wondering why the law has not yet begun being implemented.
JSA regretted, a high level committee under the chairpersonship of Dr SK Sarin, director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science, was constituted by the government in July this year to frame the rules, “yet there has been no progress in this regard.”
Expressing concern regarding delay in framing and notification of the rules for the Act, putting to question the State government’s intent to implement the Act in its true spirit, JSA demanded that the process be expedited and the rules be framed at the earliest, as in the absence of it the Act remains only on papers and people continue to remain deprived of the various rights and provisions stipulated under it.
It said, the rules must be framed and notified before the code of conduct for the upcoming elections come into being.
The State health rights Act made Rajasthan the first State in India to give every resident the right to avail free Out Patient Department (OPD) services and In Patient Department (IPD) services at all public health facilities. Additionally, similar healthcare services are sought to be provided free of cost at selected private facilities.
Critics said, the Act does not mention whether private healthcare professionals will be reimbursed by the government. Claimed non-profit PRS Legislative Research, "If the government does not reimburse the cost, the private establishments will have no revenue, and would likely shut down.”
Critics also said, implementation of the Act would increase the expenditure of the State budget as no additional arrangements to cover the costs have been made by the government.
Sections of Rajasthan doctors said, the Act will increase the incidents of violence against doctors. They added, the Act does not appropriately defining the term emergency.
While the State government was accused of using the Act to win elections in the upcoming 2023 Rajasthan Legislative Assembly elections, it was passed in the State assembly amidst protests by healthcare professionals.
Opposing the provisions of the Act, the Indian Medical Association called for country wide protests and threatened to shut countrywide services. The All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association also called for shut down of healthcare services in the State. The protestors met with government opposition. Police used water cannon and baton charge against the protestors.



Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

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. 

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.

Palm oil industry deceptively using geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.