Rajasthan Right to Health Bill: The Right to Health Bill in Rajasthan has become a contentious issue, with the government and doctors at odds.
Protests by doctors against the bill have been ongoing for several days, with police using force to disperse them.
Despite the opposition, the government managed to pass the bill in the assembly on Tuesday i.e. March 21.
The ruling party Congress promised to introduce the Right to Health Bill during the 2018 Rajasthan assembly elections.
In September 2022, the bill was introduced in the assembly after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced its introduction in the financial year 2022-23.
However, the bill faced several hurdles, including opposition to the mandatory provision of free emergency treatment, and was sent to the Select Committee.
Despite heavy opposition, the bill was passed on Tuesday during the current budget session.
The Right to Health Bill in Rajasthan aims to ensure that patients should not be denied treatment in hospitals.
The state government will reimburse the cost of emergency treatment if the patient is unable to bear it.
The state government has made land available to large hospitals at concessional rates, with provisions to link them under the Right to Health Bill.
The bill has faced opposition since its announcement, with doctors protesting in many cities of the state for the last three days. The Jaipur police also used force to stop the protests.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) was the first to register its protest following CM Gehlot's announcement. According to the office bearers of the association, private hospitals have been neglected in the bill. The IMA has dubbed this bill the "Right to Death."
According to protesters, the government should limit this bill to its own government hospitals and not to force private hospitals to implement it, as it may lead to their closure.
The bill mandates private hospitals to provide free emergency treatment, but there is no clear definition of what constitutes an emergency.
Questions have also been raised on how the government will reimburse private hospitals for the cost of emergency treatment and ambulance services.
In a media interaction held in Jodhpur, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed his support for the Right to Health Bill and stated that it will benefit both the public and doctors.
He also urged doctors to support the government in passing the bill, and not resort to protests.
He emphasized that any issues or concerns related to the bill can be addressed through discussions and there is no need to take to the streets.
According to the Chief Minister, the bill is necessary and serves the interests of all.
On the other hand, Medical and Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena said in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday that the 'Right to Health Bill' is in the interest of the public.