Rajasthan Assembly passes the Right to Health Bill on 21 March


Rajasthan Assembly passes the Right to Health Bill on 21 March

Every resident of Rajasthan gets the right to emergency treatment and care "without prepayment of requisite fee or charges" by any public health institution, health care establishment and designated health care centres, both government as well as private.

 
Rajasthan Right to Health Bill Passed
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A landmark in the history of governance in the State, the Rajasthan Right to Health Bill 2022 was passed by voice vote amidst protests by Doctors. The Bill was passed in the Rajasthan Assembly on Tuesday, 21 March 2023. This Bill gives the residents of Rajasthan domicile a right to free emergency treatment at government hospitals and privately-run establishments.

The bill gives every Rajasthan resident the right to emergency treatment and care such as accident and any other emergency decided by the State Health Authority "without prepayment of requisite fee or charges" by any public health institution, health care establishment and designated health care centres.

As per the Bill, subsequent to the emergency care, stabilisation and referral of the patient, if they do not pay the requisite charges, the government will reimburse the healthcare provider. In response to a query during the debate while passing the Bill, th Health Minister of Rajasthan, Prasadi Lal Meena said that the Bill looks after public interest. On being asked on the agitations by th Doctors, Meena said that all suggestions have been accepted and incorporated.

"The doctors are agitating despite their suggestions being accepted. This is not justified. They are demanding withdrawal of the bill, is it justified?" - Prasadi Lal Meena

Key Features of the Bill

  • The Bill provides the right to health and access to healthcare for people in the state. This includes free health care services at any clinical establishment to residents of the state.
  • The Bill sets certain obligations on the state government to ensure the right to health and maintain public health.
  • Health Authorities will be set up at the state and district level. These bodies will formulate, implement, monitor, and develop mechanisms for quality healthcare and management of public health emergencies.

As per the Bill, the patient during emergency treatment (pre-defined conditions) will be treated without prepayment of the fees accordantly to the level of health care by the provider. Furthr, no health care provider shall delay or deny treatment merely on the grounds of receiving police clearances or a Police report.

Any establishment that knowingly contravenes any provision of this Act or any rule under it shall be punishable with a fine up to ₹10,000 for the first such instance, and up to ₹20,000 for the subsequent contraventions.

The Bill was introduced in September 2022, but sent to the select committee after protests by Doctos. The committee submitted its report and the Bill was amended accordingly.

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