February,28,2016: In a step towards increasing accessibility and availability of healthcare services for all, the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare held a high-level meeting on Saturday to discuss the draft National Health Policy which has suggested making health a fundamental right.
The National Health Policy envisages an implementation framework to deliver on policy commitments. Such an implementation framework would specify approved financial allocations and link them with measurable numerical output targets and time schedules.
The proposed policy highlights a major challenge prevailing in the health sector. It says, “There are unfortunately a number of laws that have over time developed inadequacies due to changed contexts and a number of newly emerged services and technologies where laws are needed.”
Laws under review include the Mental Health Bill, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, the Bill regulating surrogate pregnancy and assisted reproductive technologies, Food Safety Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Clinical Establishments Act. The process of aligning many of these laws to meet people’s needs and changed circumstances and understanding becomes one of the urgent tasks in the coming years.
In the past, the government of India had drafted national health policies twice—1983 and 2002.
The proposal for a National Health Rights Act comes after a debate on whether India should pass a Bill to make health a fundamental right as was done for education. “Many industrialised nations have laws that do so. Many of the developing nations that have made significant progress towards universal health coverage, such as Brazil and Thailand, have done so, and … such a law is a major contributory factor.
A number of international covenants to which we [India] are joint signatories give us such a mandate — and this could be used to make a national law. Courts have also rulings that, in effect, see health care as a fundamental right — and a constitutional obligation flowing out of the right to life,” the draft policy says.
Pointing out that there has been a 10-year discussion on this issue “without a resolution,” the draft questions whether India has reached the level of development in economic and health systems to make this a justiciable right — implying that its denial is an offence.
Read Medical Laws @ LatestLaws.in-
- Medical and Health Laws
- Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2014
- Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act,2010
- Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act,1996
- Drug Price Control Order,2013
- Drugs and Cosmetics Act,1940
- Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act,1954
- Maternity Benefits Act,1961
- Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Act,1971
- Mental Health Act,1993
- National Trust For the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act,1999
- Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act,1962
- Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act,1995
- Pharmacy Act,1948
- Rehabilitation Council of India Act,1992
- St. John Ambulance Association (India) Transfer of Funds Act,1956
- Transplantation of Human Organs Act,1994
Read Full Text of National Health Policy,2015 Here-