The next step is a constitutional right to health

Synopsis: Presently, any investment in health care has failed to translate into a sense of security and sanctuary for many Indians. So, the logical next step would be providing the fundamental Right to Health for all.

Introduction

The present pandemic, not only shows the deficiencies in our health care, but also devastated it further. So, there is a need to provide citizens with a sense of security for their health. This can be done by providing the fundamental Right to Health to the people.

Why there is a need for a constitutional “Right to Health for all”?

The pandemic has exposed many cracks in our healthcare system. There are various sections in our society which face the brunt of these cracks.

Farmers: The majority of small and landless farmers fell into the debt trap and bondage when they have to pay for their medical bills from their limited earning. Various employment schemes do not deliver what they ought to be. Implementation of the Right to Health will provide them quality health care which they deserve to be.

Women: They are in a disadvantaged position because of patriarchal expectations, socio-economic conditions and other societal norms. Right to Health will ensure a guarantee to provide services to women whenever required.

Children: Children who belong to poor families often opt out of school because of their financial conditions. They tend to work in hazardous industries like mines, factories etc. The constitutional guarantee of the Right to Health will help them to prevail medical services without adding any extra financial cost.

What are the benefits of providing the “Right to Health for all”?

It will provide health security and guarantee the well-being of our people.

The constitutional “Right to Health,” will have an impact on financial saving, investment, and lead to job creation. This will also help in the realization of the vision of Ayushman Bharat and act as a leap for the economic and development progress of the nation.

What should India do?

The world has understood the importance of policy in the management of health. India, like in Right to Education, should adopt a rights-based approach and make the right to health a fundamental right.

Source: This post is based on the article “The next step is a constitutional right to health” published in The Hindu on 12th October 2021.

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