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Committment to life

For countless millions the slogal Health for all continues to be a mere slogan. To a large extent the health services and health care in India tends to respond to the existing market demand...

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE |
April 22, 2009 1:08:52 am

Jan Swasthya Abhiyaan is promoting Right to Good Health and looking forward to a committment from all political parties towards promising good health to the masses in all respects

For countless millions the slogal Health for all continues to be a mere slogan. To a large extent the health services and health care in India tends to respond to the existing market demand,says Dr Anant Phadke coordinator of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyaan,which recently released a people’s health manifesto to promote the right to health. Looking forard to a commitment from all the political forces in the country,the Abhiyan in its manifesto stressed that the right to health includes the right not only to timely and appropriate quality health care but also to the underlying socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health.

According to Dr Anant Phadke of the Abhiyaan food insecurity and malnutrition are critical factors that determine ill health. They have also included the need to ensure cent per cent avalaibility of water without discrimination in each village and habitation and cent per cent access to safe hygienic toilets at homes and institutions.

Another issue taken up by the Abhiyaan is the need to enact the national health act to guarantee the right to comprehensive quality health care at public expense in relevant health institutions. They include:

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* National policy on child health and nutrition should be formulated with urgency

* Recognize violence against women as a public health issue and ensure prosecution and conviction of violators of the prevention of domestic violence against women and girls act.

* Increase the health care budget from the current one per cent of the GDP to three per cent within five years and to five per cent in ten years. This would increase the share of public funds in the health care expenditure from the current 20 per cent to 60 per cent in five years and to 100 per cent in ten years.

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