City Reports

Right to Health bill likely to be tabled in Rajasthan assembly on March 23 

Some private hospital operators are still against this bill and have warned they will stop treatment facilities under govt schemes.

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March 16, 2023, 6:46 pm

Rajasthan state assembly

Rajasthan state assembly building. Image credit: Post Staff.

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government is planning to table the controversial Right to Health Bill in the state assembly by March 23. 

The final draft of the bill has been approved after a discussion with the State Joint Action Committee which represents a section of the private hospitals which were opposing the bill. Another fraction of private hospitals is still opposing the bill. 

These private hospital operators are still against this bill and have warned that they will stop treatment facilities under government schemes.

Chairman of the Joint Action Committee, Dr. Sunil Chugh, stated that the demands and suggestions put forth by the organization have been included in the bill, and therefore there is no point in protesting. 

More than half of the hospitals in Rajasthan are involved in the action committee, and almost all of them have agreed after the amendments were made to the bill. However, some hospital operators’ opposition to the bill has no justification, he said. 

More than 1500 private hospital operators in Rajasthan protested against this bill in February and stopped the treatment under the government schemes including RGHS and Chiranjeevi Yojana. Under RGHS, treatment facilities were not being provided in OPD and IPD, and patients associated with the Chiranjeevi scheme who came for treatment under this mediclaim were also denied treatment.

The biggest protest was related to the emergency service, according to Dr. Sunil Chugh. Although the bill provides for the provision of emergency treatment, there was no clarity about the type of emergency that would be considered. 

Many hospitals do not have the necessary facilities for cardiology or trauma, and if a patient suffering from a heart attack or accident injury comes to such a hospital, there is no clear way to provide them with the necessary treatment. 

The Joint Action Committee has therefore requested clarification on this matter. The committee also demanded that doctors be included in the health committee formed at the district level, which has been accepted. Previously, only local public representatives and administrative officers were included in this committee.

Additionally, if a patient arrives at a hospital in the case of an accident, injury, or other emergencies, and if they do not receive the necessary treatment there, the hospital is required to provide a referral to another facility free of cost. This service will now be provided by the government free of cost, and private hospital operators will not be under any pressure to provide it.

First published: March 16, 2023