The Right to Health bill in Rajasthan has now become a challenge for the health of thousands of Rajasthan residents who are forced to move out of state to get required medical treatment due to lack of medical support in wake of doctors and medical staff strike which continued for 12 continuous days in the state.
Actually, the doctors are protesting Right to Health bill passed in the state saying that the doctors were not consulted before passing the bill and hence it needs to be withdrawn.
While, the government stands adamant claiming that the doctors were discussed with before the passing of the bill and hence they should follow the govt guidelines.
Now, this deadlock between doctors and govt is proving deadly for residents of the state for around five have already lost their lives wanting for timely medical aid, while thousands of others are rushing to neighbouring states in want of treatment.
One Ankit, an IT professional, had to cancel all his meetings on Friday as his sister had met with an accident and none of the hospitals in Jaipur were ready to take her in.
“I had to travel to new city Ahmedabad as doctors refused to take my sister in. Now am clueless for how many days I will have to stay here as there is no silver lining being seen in Rajasthan in terms of ending of strike,” he added.
Similar is the plight of one Meenu whose 13 year old daughter underwent a surgery. Her stitches had to be opened however due to lack of medical aid, she went to Delhi from Jaipur.
She also left her work and is clueless for how long she has to be in Delhi as doctors want her daughter to be under medical observation.
These are just two stories but each household in the state is worried due to ongoing strike as the H3N2 virus is creating troubles and now COVID numbers are also surging.
The out of season rains is triggering viral cases but there is no one in hospitals who can help patients running from pillar to post.
A senior doctor talking to Organiser said, “It’s a very sorry state that we have shun work and sit with folded hands even after looking our regular patients’ plight. However, this is reality that doctors are scared of this bill as the state government has passed terror bill.
Imagine we are working and anyone can compliant about us and it can go to grievance authority and they can impose penalty of Rs 50000. In fact, this bill spoil relations between patient and doctor, he added.
In fact, another doctor said that this right to health bill is sure to affect the financial health of people associated with medical industry.
“It has been 12 days since the deadlock between doctor and state government started. Since then there has been no work going on in hospital and as a result, there is no revenue coming in. So now we are restructuring payments and are thinking of cost cutting too. So the bill shall prove deadly for financial health of employees, she said.
On the other hand, Secretary of Private Hospital and Nursing Homes Society, Dr. Vijay Kapoor said that private hospitals across the state have given written consent to stop government schemes. In this way, from April 1, the process of mass de-empanelment of government schemes will be completed in all private hospitals of Rajasthan.
Kapoor said – The strike of resident doctors is also going on. Some residents may have returned to work under pressure from the government. But Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors has continued with its strike.
It needs to be mentioned here that the Right to Health Bill has been passed by the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on March 21 despite opposition from the BJP. At present, this bill is yet to be approved by the Governor. Rajasthan is the first state of the country where the RTH bill was passed.
In this bill, treatment is guaranteed in government and private hospitals. In such a situation, in case of emergency in Rajasthan, even private hospitals will have to provide free treatment. For this, a separate fund will be created for free treatment in emergency in private hospitals. However, the doctors have called the Bill draconian while the state government has claimed that many of their grievances have already been addressed in the latest version of the legislation.
The protesters (doctors) claim that the Bill doesn’t help patients much, but penalises doctors and hospitals.
The most contentious section of the Bill mandates that all hospitals — both public and private — must offer emergency treatment without any prepayment, when required.
IMA national president Dr Sharad Kumar Agarwal, said, that health is the right of every citizen, however providing it to the citizens is the responsibility of the state government. As they are incapable in doing it, they are putting it on doctors.”
The Act does mention that the government will reimburse the hospitals, but the protesters say there is no clarity on how or when these funds will come.
Dr Amit Yadav, former president of Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors, said: “There are several problems associated with the Bill. One, when they say hospitals have to provide emergency service, they have not defined what an emergency is.”
Meanwhile, the government has said that more clarification will be provided when the rules for the Bill are framed.