As human beings, our health and the health of those we care about is a matter of
daily concern. Regardless of our age, gender, socio-economic or ethnic
background, we consider our health to be our most basic and essential asset. At
the same time, we are willing to make many sacrifices if only that would
guarantee us and our families a longer and healthier life. In short, when we
talk about well-being, health is often what we have in mind.
The right to health
is a fundamental part of our human rights and of our understanding of a life in
dignity. The right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of
physical and mental health. Internationally, it was first articulated in the
1946 Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), whose preamble defines
health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not
merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
The preamble further states
that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the
fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion,
political belief, economic or social condition.
The 1948 Universal Declaration
of Human Rights also mentioned health as part of the right to an adequate
standard of living. The right to health was again recognized as a human right in
the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The
right to health is relevant to all States: every State has ratified at least one
international human rights treaty recognizing the right to health.
In a welfare, state health and health care of the people are of prime
importance. It presupposes that the state to ensure conditions congenial to good
health. Maintenance and improvement of public health have to rank high as these
are indispensable condition required in the modern state. Right to health is a
necessity for rich and poor. The right to health is concerned with various
factors such as housing, food, water, sanitation, and environment.
Health is a
vital indicator of human development and human development is the basic
ingredient of economic and social development. In India, the right
to Health care and protection has been recognized, since early times,
Independent India approached the public as the right holder and the state as the
duty-bound primary provider of Health for all. As our country is a founder
member of the United Nations, it has ratified various international conventions
promising to secure Health care right of individuals in society. In Indian
Constitution does not expressly recognize the fundamental right to Health.
However, Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees a fundamental right
to life & personal liberty. The expression �life in this article means a life
with human dignity & not mere survival or animal existence. It has a much wider
meaning which includes right to livelihood, better standard of life, hygienic
condition in workplace & leisure.
The right to Health is inherent to a life with
dignity. In this paper we will be discussing about core elements and components
of right to health, right to health in other countries, Constitution of India on
right to health, implementation of right to health in India. Also, we will be
explaining a contemporary issue in relation with this pandemic situation.
Core elements of a right to health
Core components of the right to health
- Progressive realization using maximum available resources
No matter what level of resources they have at their disposal, progressive
realization requires that governments take immediate steps within their means
towards the fulfilment of these rights. Regardless of resource capacity, the
elimination of discrimination and improvements in the legal and juridical
systems must be acted upon with immediate effect.
States should not allow the existing protection of economic, social, and
cultural rights to deteriorate unless there are strong justifications for a
retrogressive measure. For example, introducing school fees in secondary
education which had formerly been free of charge would constitute a deliberate
retrogressive measure. To justify it, a State would have to demonstrate that it
adopted the measure only after carefully considering all the options, assessing
the impact and fully using its maximum available resources.
The right to health (Article 12) was defined in General Comment 14 of the
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights � a committee of Independent
Experts, responsible for overseeing adherence to the Covenant. (4)
includes the following core components:
Right to health in other countries
Refers to the need for a sufficient quantity of functioning public health and
health care facilities, goods and services, as well as programmes for all.
Availability can be measured through the analysis of disaggregated data to
different and multiple stratifies including by age, sex, location and
socio-economic status and qualitative surveys to understand coverage gaps and
health workforce coverage.
Requires that health facilities, goods, and services must be accessible to
everyone. Accessibility has four overlapping dimensions:
- physical accessibility
- economical accessibility (affordability)
- information accessibility.
Assessing accessibility may require analysis of barriers � physical financial or
otherwise � that exist, and how they may affect the most vulnerable, and call
for the establishment or application of clear norms and standards in both law
and policy to address these barriers, as well as robust monitoring systems of
health-related information and whether this information is reaching all
Relates to respect for medical ethics, culturally appropriate, and sensitivity
to gender. Acceptability requires that health facilities, goods, services and
programmes are people-centered and cater for the specific needs of diverse
population groups and in accordance with international standards of medical
ethics for confidentiality and informed consent.
Facilities, goods, and services must be scientifically and medically approved.
Quality is a key component of Universal Health Coverage, and includes the
experience as well as the perception of health care. Quality health services
- Safe � avoiding injuries to people for whom the care is intended
- Effective � providing evidence-based healthcare services to those who
- People-centered � providing care that responds to individual
preferences, needs and values;
- Timely � reducing waiting times and sometimes harmful delays.
- Equitable � providing care that does not vary in quality on account of
gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socio-economic status;
- Integrated � providing care that makes available the full range of
health services throughout the life course;
- Efficient � maximizing the benefit of available resources and avoiding
In the international perspective, Right to Health is a very basic fundamental
right according to WHO. Right to health for people means that everyone should
have access to health services whenever needed in spite of the financial crisis.
Right to health is not only about getting timely health care. According to WHO
guidelines, RTH also includes safe and potable water, adequate sanitation,
healthy occupational and environmental conditions, access to health-related
Every individual has the right to privacy and to be treated
with dignity and respect. Based on this right to privacy no person shall be
subjected to medical examinations without consent. These are the basic reasons
behind World Health Organization to promote people centered care as a
manifestation of human rights.
Discrimination in health care will totally be
unfair and will act as a major barrier to develop as a community. So, RTH is
acknowledged and is relevant in every state of the world. Every country has
ratified at least one international treaty that recognizes the right to health.
There is a separate committee to check on how RTH is being implemented and
practiced in every county.
In China, the government have been providing health care services for people
after Chinese communist revolution in 1949. But during 1990, there was a high
point of privatization of healthcare services which led to low life expectancy
rate in the country. Then, the government took various measures, introduced
various policies to provide healthcare to the people. In 2008 the government
declared a reformation plan on playing the dominant role in providing public
health and basic medical services. In the next decade, various other schemes
were introduced and in the year 2017 almost 97 percentage of the Chinese
population were covered under three categories of public health insurance.
- Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance
- Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance
- New Corporation Medical Services
People falling under the category can claim insurance for every medical expense
even if it is trivial. But even after 2017 the right to health was not actually
legalized in the country. During pandemic, in 2020 March the Chinese government
legalized basic medical and healthcare. The law stated that health must be
prioritized and right to health is a fundamental duty of Chinese population.
United Kingdom is a developed country but the right to health is not a
recognized protection under law. However, in this country human right is
legalized and obliges all public authorities including National Health Services.
National Health Services provide public health care to permanent residents of a
country. The system was originally designed to provide free healthcare at the
point of need and shall be paid in the form of general taxation method. But few
changes were made like general taxation method doesn't include prescribed
medicines and dentistry. Since human rights is legalized in this country
patients get health care benefits like
- The elderly and vulnerable patients should not be mistreated
- It is the duty of the hospitals to protect patients at risk and
- Parent�s consent to treat a child was important
France has a system of healthcare largely financed by the government in the form
of National health insurance. Even though not all medical expenses can be
claimed under this insurance policy, France still manages to be consistently
ranked as one of the best in providing healthcare services to the public. The
quality of health care in France is par while compared to ither western
Japan is one of the most developed countries in the world and it is mandatory
for all the residents in this country to have health insurance coverage. People
without insurance from their company or from employers can take part in National
health insurance program administrated by local government. In such a way,
patients have the liberty to choose their doctors and facilities while the
government will cover for these people.
USA, MEXICO, SOUTH KOREA, TURKEY:
In these countries Right to Health care can't be actually enjoyed. The country
doesn't really have health care but only health insurance system. Right to
health has been long recognized internationally but there was never a proper
system in these countries. It is not even considered as a basic human right in
these countries even though these countries campaign for human rights throughout
the world. Even though they have proper medical and health facilities, they are
not funded by the government.
Under developed countries:
Underdeveloped countries and developing countries like Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria
they have a void in their healthcare services. Developing or underdeveloped
countries like Libya Tanzania etc., have 10 doctors available to treat around 1
million people, whereas in developed countries like USA, UK, on average they
have 3000 doctors available to treat 1 million people which is a huge
This could be due to deficiency in resources. These countries are
mainly lack for doctors. Financial resources are also unevenly distributed as
these countries often get affected by natural calamities like famine, drought
etc. Apart from that, there also exists inequality in services. Since there are
very limited number of health care workers available in these countries, they
are often more accessible to people who are capable to pay. So, people with
limited financial resources find it difficult to get treated in these countries.
As a result of lack of healthcare average expectancy rate of people in these
countries are really low.
Article 21: Protection of Life and Personal Liberty:
Municipal Corporation v. Jan Mohammed
- C.E.R.C. V. Union of India
- Mr. X. v. Hospital Z,
- Parmanand Katara v. Union of India
- Paschim Banga Khet Mazoor Samity v. State of W.B.,
- State of Punjab v. Ram Bagga
Article 19(1)(g) in The Constitution Of India 1949
(g) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business
Article 19(6) in The Constitution of India 1949
- Nothing in sub clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation
of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from
making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable
restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause,
and, in particular, nothing in the said sub clause shall affect the
operation of any existing law in so far as it relates to, or prevent the
State from making any law relating to:
- the professional or technical qualifications necessary for practicing
any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade or business, or
- the carrying on by the State, or by a corporation owned or controlled by
the State, of any trade, business, industry or service, whether to the
exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise
Article 23(1) in The Constitution of India 1949
- Traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced
labor are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an
offence punishable in accordance with law.
Article 24 in The Constitution of India 1949
24. Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc. No child below the
age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or
engaged in any other hazardous employment Provided that nothing in this sub
clause shall authorize the detention of any person beyond the maximum period
prescribed by any law made by Parliament under sub clause (b) of clause (7); or
such person is detained in accordance with the provisions of any law made by
Parliament under sub clauses (a) and (b) of clause (7)
DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY:
38. The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and
protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social,
economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.
39. The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing:
- that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate
means of livelihood
- that the ownership and control of the material resources of the
community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good;
- that the operation of the economic system does not result in the
concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;
- that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
- that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender
age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic
necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength;
- that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a
healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood
and youth are protected against exploitation
41. The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development,
make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to
public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement,
and in other cases of undeserved want.
42. The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of
work and for maternity relief.
P Sivaswamy v. State of Andhra Pradesh
47. The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the
standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among
its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about
prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating
drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.
Vincent Panikurlangara v. Union of India
48A. The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to
safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.
51A. It shall be the duty of every citizen of India:
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes,
rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
How far India is successful in implementing Right to health
Health is a vital indicator of human development and human development is the
basic ingredient of economic and social development. Health has been
acknowledged as a fundamental right of the people. The State priority is
reflected through its policies and programmes undertaken by governments. The
evolving appropriate laws and enforcement of laws in achieving the goal is an
important process. India's poor health indices are cause for concern. The
country does not seem to be on track to meet health targets set for the
Millennium Development Goals and the 11th Five Year Plan. Nowadays India is
facing problem of degradation of health. People are losing their lives.
Providing adequate medical facilities for the people is an obligation undertaken
by the government in a welfare state. Article 21 imposes an obligation on the
state to safeguard the right to life of every person. Preservation of human life
is thus of paramount importance. The government hospitals run by the state are
duty bound to extend medical assistance for preserving human life.
the part of a government hospital to provide timely medical treatment to a
person in need of such treatment, results in violation of his right to life
guaranteed under Article21. Indian courts have held that in emergencies neither
government nor even private doctors can insist on payment of money before
dealing with the patient in an emergency situation.
In Pravat Kumar Mukerjee vs.
Ruby General Hospital,
case of a young student whose motorcycle was dashed by a
bus in Calcutta. He was brought to the Respondent hospital but the treatment was
not continued as Rs.15, 000 as demanded by the hospital were not immediately
paid. The boy died.
The National Commission held that though a doctor was not
bound to treat each and every patient, in emergencies the doctor was bound to
treat the patient and could not insist on delaying treatment until the fees were
paid. The Petitioner was awarded a compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs. In conclusion
all doctors and hospitals, whether private or government, have to treat
emergency patients. If they do not do so, the patient or immediate kin can
approach the court for compensation for violating their right to life (Article
The condition of health is worsening day by day in spite of various health
schemes and policies. Government of India formulated its first National Health
Policy in 1983 and released second National Health Policy in 2002, nearly 20
years after the formulation of the first one in 1983. Although the National
Health Policy (NHP) in India was not framed until 1983, India has built up a
vast health infrastructure and initiated several national health programmes over
last five decades in government, voluntary and private sectors under the
guidance and direction of various committees (Bore, Mudaliar, Kartar Singh,
Srivastava), the Constitution, the Planning Commission, the Central Council of
Health and Family Welfare, and Consultative Committees attached to the Ministry
of Health and Family Welfare.
However, many states do not have a clear Health
Policy. The strategies of the states are mostly guided by the National Health
Policy and the National Programs. The period after 1983witnessed several major
developments in the polices impacting the health sector by adoption of National
Health Policy in 1983 and 2002, 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments in 1992,
National Nutrition Policy in 1993, National Health Policy in 2002 and the
proposed National Health Policy 2011.
However, the State has to play a central
role in helping develop an organized system of health care as against the
prevailing laissez-faire approach. The existing health care services will have
to be restructured under a defined system and its financing organized and
controlled by an autonomous body. To facilitate such restructuring a
well-defined system of rules and regulations will have to be put in place so
that minimum standards and quality care are assured under a system. Public
health may receive more attention in the near future.
Role of Government and other local bodies:
The Government is responsible to provide health services to the public. In India
the health services are provided both by the Central and State Governments. But
the available resources with governments are not enough to cover all citizens
under health care services. Hence, services provided by private PR actioner,
hospitals and nursing homes are predominant. There is a big difference in
availed services. Poor people cannot afford small fees.
As a result, there is a
heavy rush of patients at Government hospitals for minor ailments as well as
graves one. The outcome is the exploitation of poor and innocent people by the
both public and private sectors in the wake of providing health services. Today
in the era of globalization where public services are slowly being privately
operated and open to market forces, access to them becomes a correlate of income
distribution in which the poorer sectors have to fend for themselves in an
increasingly unequal society.
Right to Health Care of government employees is integral to right to life:
In State of Punjab vs. Mohinder Singh Chawla
, which dealt with right to medical
treatment of Government employees, the Supreme Court observed: If the Government
servant has suffered an ailment which requires treatment at a specialized
approved hospital and on reference whereat the Government servant had undergone
such treatment therein, it is the duty of the State to bear the expenditure
incurred by the Government servant.
Not only the state but also panchayat, Municipalities are liable to improve and
protect public health. According to Art 243g The legislature of a state may
endow the panchayats with necessary power and authority in relation to matters
listed in the eleventh schedule.
The entries in this schedule having direct
relevance to health are as follows; [Article 243 G]
- Drinking water
- Health and sanitation including hospitals, primary health centers &
- Family welfare
- Women and child development
- Social welfare including welfare of the handicapped and mentally
- Water supply for domestic industrial and commercial purpose
- Public health, sanitation conservancy and solid waste management
- Regulation of slaughter � houses and tanneries.
The Institution created at the local and national levels, which can play
powerful roles in public health. The Panchayat Raj Act has placed emphasis on
building local government, and devolving health activities to them. Through the
73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts (1992), the local bodies
(Municipalities and Panchayat) have been assigned 29 development activities,
which have a direct and indirect bearing on health. These include health and
sanitation (covering hospitals, PHCs and dispensaries), family welfare, drinking
water, women etc. The LSGs and NGOs play a pivotal role in combating various
Two important schemes
- CMCHIS Scheme:
The Chief Ministers Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) is launched
by the government of Tamil Nadu through United Insurance Company Ltd, a public
sector insurance company, at Chennai. The CMCHIS delivers equality in the
provision of health care to eligible person(s) through the empaneled government
and private hospitals with the aim to reduce the financial hardship to the
enrolled families. During a medical emergency, the beneficiary should produce
the Maruthuva Kapitu Thittam Card or the smart card to the hospital. The
hospital authorities will send the related information to the Third-Party
Administrator (TPA) or insurance company. The CMCHIS claim amount will be
settled directly between the hospital and the insurance company.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana:
On 23 September 2018, the Government of India introduced an ambitious
government-sponsored health scheme, termed the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat
Yojana (now called the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)). The program
was introduced with the intent to reduce the financial burden on poor and
vulnerable groups as a result of hospitalization and ensure they get access to
The Ayushman Bharat health scheme offers financial
protection to 10.74 crore poor, rural families and identified occupational
categories of urban workers� families. The project offers an annual health cover
of Rs. 5,00,000 per family (on a family floater basis). It covers medical and
hospitalization expenses for nearly all secondary care and tertiary care
procedures. The government-backed program has defined 1,350 medical packages
covering surgery, medical and day care treatments, including medicines and
Kerala has occupied the top slot in terms of health performance among large
states followed by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, whereas Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar remained at the bottom, according to the Niti Aayog's second round of
Health Index. The ranking was done under three categories -- larger states,
smaller states and Union territories (UTs) -- to ensure comparison among similar
The Index ranks the States and Union Territories based on 23
health-related indicators, including neonatal mortality rate, under-five
mortality rate, proportion of low birth weight among new-borns, proportion of
districts with functional Cardiac Care Units, full immunization coverage and
proportion of specialist positions vacant at district hospitals. Some States
such as Rajasthan have improved their health status, but what is worrisome is
that States such as Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
have not improved at all, it said.
As of 2020 news Only six states have enacted a public health law, nine are in
the process of formulating one, while eight have no plans to bring in any such
law oriented towards providing protection and fulfilment of rights related to
health and well-being. A bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde had directed the
central government to advise all states and Union Territories (UTs) to formulate
a legal framework, similar to the National Health Bill, 2009, which focuses on
marginalized sections of society.
In the same order, the court had also asked
the ministry to convene a meeting of all state health ministers or secretaries,
and collate information regarding the steps taken by the states and UTs to frame
the public health law.
According to the ministry�s affidavit, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Uttar
Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam have their own public health acts. Both Tamil
Nadu and Andhra Pradesh enforced the law in 1939 and have amended it from time
to time. Madhya Pradesh�s law was put in place in 1949 whereas Goa formulated a
public health act in 1985.
In Uttar Pradesh, the law was framed in 2020, after
the Covid breakout. Meanwhile, Karnataka, Punjab, Sikkim, Odisha, Manipur,
Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Maharashtra and the UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman
and Diu plan to enact such a law in the near future, the affidavit stated. But
West Bengal, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Nagaland,
Haryana and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have no plans to legislate a public
health law. Both Nagaland and Haryana had, however, proposed adopting the
central government�s Act. The affidavit doesn�t mention the remaining states and
Mental healthcare act
India's Mental Healthcare Act 2017 was designed �to provide for mental
healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote
and fulfil the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and
services� (Preamble). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health
is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely
the absence of disease. This holistic approach is relatively new and is
indicating a shift in how the right to a standard of living adequate for health
and well-being, first enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70
years ago, is now understood.
In a recent report on the right to mental health, the UN right to health expert,
Mr. Dainius Pūras, pointed out that despite evidence that there cannot be health
without mental health, nowhere in the world does mental health enjoy parity with
physical health in terms of budgeting, or medical education and practice. As
human beings, our health and the health of those we care about is a matter of
daily concern. Regardless of our age, gender, socio-economic or ethnic
background, we consider our health to be our most basic and essential asset. A
user of psychiatric services sits in a yard and looks in through one of the
windows of a mental healthcare centre in Herat, Afghanistan, March 2017. Ill
health, on the other hand, can keep us from going to school or to work, from
attending to our family responsibilities or from participating fully in the
activities of our community. Similarly, we are willing to make many sacrifices
if only that would guarantee us and our families a longer and healthier life.
COVID And Constitution
In Re: The Proper Treatment of Covid 19 Patients and Dignified Handling of Dead
Bodies in The Hospitals Etc.
(R. Subhash Reddy)
"Right to health is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the
Constitution of India. Right to health includes affordable treatment. Therefore,
it is the duty upon the state to make provisions for affordable treatment and
more and more provisions in the hospitals to be run by the state and/or local
administration are made.
It cannot be disputed that for whatever reasons the
treatment has become costlier and costlier and it is not affordable to the
common people at all. Even if one survives from COVID-19, financially and
economically he is finished. Therefore, either more and more provisions are to
be made by the state government and the local administration or there shall be
cap on the fees charged by the private hospitals, which can be in exercise of
the powers under the Disaster Management Act," said the bench in its detailed
order. We with regard to above, issue following directions:
All States/Union Territories should appoint one nodal officer for each Covid
hospital, if not already appointed, who shall be made responsible for ensuring
the compliance of all fire safety measures.
In each district, State Government should constitute a committee to carry fire
audit of each Covid hospital at least once in a month and inform the deficiency
to the management of the hospital and report to the Government for taking follow
The Covid hospital who have not obtained NOC from fire department of the State
should be asked to immediately apply for NOC and after carrying necessary
inspection, decision shall be taken. Those Covid hospitals who have not renewed
their NOC should immediately take steps for renewal on which appropriate
inspection be taken and decision be taken. In event, Covid Hospital is found not
having NOC or not having obtained renewal, appropriate action be taken by the
Karnataka HC said that proper supply of oxygen is the most basic of what the
court must do in view of upholding A 21 of the constitution
Chief Justice Abhay and Justice Aravind Kumar directed:
Delhi HC not inclined to go any further in regard to pleas challenging that MLA
Imran Hussain hoarding oxygen cylinders.SC to centre when they lost the case
challenging the Karnataka hcs order "When we say 700 metric tons, it means (the
amount of medical oxygen to be supplied) every day to Delhi. Please do not drive
us to a situation to take coercive steps... We are clarifying that it will be
700 MT every day," the top court said sternly, a day after prolonged arguments
The Delhi High Court on Saturday warned Centre that it will face contempt
charges if Delhi doesn't get enough oxygen supply today. The Delhi govt has
attacked the Centre saying oxygen has become an ego issue.
You have your own state-run steel plants and petroleum industries. Why can�t
you curtail it? Why can�t you stop it? Why can�t you minimize it to whatever is
absolutely critical? We can understand that you cannot shut down petroleum
production completely in the country because it is a critical thing by itself,
but you can reduce it. We are sure that if you were to divert their oxygen for
medical use, you would be able to meet the requirement.
here are many provisions in the Law that monitor and regulate the price of
medical equipment and medicines. The Drugs Pricing Control order (DPCO) 2013,
issued by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), which comes
under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has set limits on prices of
Drugs-- which include medicines and several classes of medical equipment. NPPA
has the authority to set maximum pricing for drugs and to monitor the current
prices without setting limits. It can also make rules to control prices.
The Essential Commodities Act 1955 also allows the Government to pass orders
classifying any commodity, agricultural or manufactured as an essential
commodity.. The Government can then pass directions for controlling the price
at which essential commodity may be bought or sold; regulating by licenses,
permits or otherwise the storage, transport, distribution, disposal,
acquisition, use or consumption of, any essential commodity; and for prohibiting
the withholding from sale of any essential commodity ordinarily kept for sale.
Any violation of the government orders would lead to punishment of up to 7
years, in addition to fines, seizure of property, and other penalties.
Another law for regulating black-marketing is the Prevention of Black marketing
and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980. This act allows
government officials-- of the rank of District Magistrate, Police commissioner,
or a Secretary of the State government to pass orders for preventive detention
of any person who is acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of
supplies of commodities essential to the community.
This Act allows for
preventive detention of any person who could be either themselves committing or
instigating someone to commit an offence under the Essential Commodities Act or
could be dealing in the Commodities that have been classed as essential
However, for any of these provisions to apply, the first requirement is that the
commodity must be notified as an essential commodity by the government.
On March 31, 2020, the NPPA, issued an order stating that medical devices
would be reclassified as drugs, which can be regulated under the Drugs Pricing
Control Order (DPCO) 2013 read with the Essential Commodities Act 1955.
Under this provision, the MRP of the medical devices would be monitored, to
ensure that no manufacturer/importer increases the MRP of a drug by more than
10% of the MRP during one year. If anyone does so, they would be faced with a
Following this order, on June 29, 2020, the NPPA issued an Office Memorandum
(OM) to monitor MRP of Pulse Oximeters and Oxygen concentrators. A Notice was
issued to all importers/manufacturers to submit MRP details under the DPCO 2013.
The OM also reiterated that the price of medical devices cannot be increased
more than 10% in a year.
However, while the hike in prices is being monitored, the two medical devices
have not yet been declared as essential commodities under the specific
Even, in the now highlighted Navneet Kalra oxygen concentrator hoarding case,
the plea taken by Kalra in his anticipatory bail plea is that the provisions
under the Essential Commodities Act cannot apply, since the concentrators are
not a notified essential commodity. You must cut the pandemic at the threshold.
In cities, these issues can be managed, treatments can be given, but not the
case with rural areas.
Your priority should be villages now. In the first wave,
villages were not affected, now they are. Kusum was being provided with oxygen
while sitting on a bench at a local hospital as there were no beds available.
After almost five hours, she had managed to get a bed after the journalist had
spoken to the hospital administration. And it is not just the case of Kusum,
several patients could not get beds as the administration was not ready for so
many of them in the first place. India Today journalists Pankaj Upadhyay and
Mohammad Hussain travelled to the interior of Palghar to look at the grim
situation in the neighboring district.
What is covered in the CMCHIS?
- CMCHIS Scheme:
The Chief Ministers Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) is launched
by the government of Tamil Nadu through United Insurance Company Ltd, a public
sector insurance company, headquartered at Chennai. The CMCHIS delivers equality
in the provision of health care to eligible person(s) through the empanelled
government and private hospitals with the aim to reduce the financial hardship
to the enrolled families.
Who can avail the services under the CMCHIS?
- Diagnostic procedures
- Follow up procedures
Is the CMCHIS subject to automatic renewal?
- All the registered members of an eligible family can avail health
insurance benefits under this plan.
- There is no cap on the income of a Sri Lankan refugee to enrol under the
- Migrants from other states can also join the CMCHIS based on the request
letter along with a list of eligible members from the labour department,
provided they have resided for more than 6(six) months in the state as certified
by the suitable authority.
- Orphans residing in any registered/ unregistered organisation can be
given a single card. This also includes the rescued girl children and any other
person(s) defined as orphan by the government.
No, the policy period of the CMCHIS is one year after which the policy holder
needs to get the policy renewed.How does it work?
During a medical emergency, the beneficiary should produce the Maruthuva Kapitu
Thittam Card or the smart card to the hospital. The hospital authorities will
send the related information to the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) or insurance
company. The CMCHIS claim amount will be settled directly between the hospital
and the insurance company. Usually, no additional intervention from the
beneficiary is required. AB-PMJAY:
Ayushman Bharat Yojana, also known as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
is a scheme that aims to help economically vulnerable Indians who are in need of
healthcare facilities. The AB-PMJAY beneficiaries get an e-card that can be used
to avail services at an empanelled hospital, public or private, anywhere in the
As per a recent government order, with regard to non-critical COVID
19 cases, a package is to be enabled under AB-PMJAY. The expenditure towards
this will be reimbursed to only empanelled private hospitals.
The state government will have to take a stand on the issue of compensating
families of the victims it is needless to add that right from the decision of
the apex court in the case of Eidul Sah v state of Bihar 1983 and followed by Nilabati Behra v State of Orissa
and various decisions rendered subsequently
which hold that while dealing with the petition under article 226 of the
constitution of India writ court can grant compensation for violation of
fundamental rights guaranteed to citizens under article 21 of the constitution
we put the state to note is that the question of granting compensation will be
considered on the next date.
Order to provide for immediate isolation of residents who are tested covid
positive the Delhi High court on Thursday may 13th yishu direction to set up a
covid care centre inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University the bench of justice
prathiba m Singh observed that setting up dedicated covid care centre would
enable search affected persons to immediately isolate and for their basic
parameters to be monitored.
Allahabad High court on Tuesday observed that the state must grant at least one
crore has ex-gratia compensation to the families of polling officers who died
due to covid-19 while after the up-Panchayat polls. To compensate the loss of
the life of the brand owner of the family and that too because of the deliberate
act on the part of the state and the state election commission to force them to
perform duties in the absence of a r t p c r support the compensation must be at
least to the tune of rupees 1 crore. Karnataka High court on Thursday observed
that not giving second dose of covid-19 vaccine will be a violation of the
fundamental right to life under article 21 of the constitution.Conclusion
The term Right to Health
is nowhere mentioned in the Indian
Constitution yet the Supreme Court has interpreted it as a fundamental right
under Right to Life enshrined in Article 21. It is a significant view of the
Supreme Court that first it interpreted Right to Health
under Part IV
i.e., Directive Principles of State Policy and noted that it is the duty of the
State to look after the Health of the people at large. In its wider
interpretation of Article 21, it was held by the Supreme Court that, the
Right to Health
is a part and parcel of
Right to Life
therefore one of fundamental rights provided under Indian Constitution.
In the real sense, the court has played a pivotal role in imposing positive
obligations. The basic right of access to health care of appropriate quality is
a fundamental humanitarian principle that should be enjoyed by all citizens of
all countries, and the international community should recognize the obligation
to promote these ideals by any means available. Indeed, although social rights
such as health care demand citizens� solidarity to be enjoyed, only with the
universalization of social rights will humanity be more equal in the future.