Randeep Guleri Committee recommended to make Right to Health a Fundamental Right

Healthcare at Kendujhar Hospital

context

A high-level panel on reforms in the health sector has come up with radical suggestions like shifting healthcare from the state list to the concurrent list in the Constitution, opening over 3,000-5,000 small private hospitals in the next five years, and declaring the Right to Health as a fundamental right on the 75th Independence day next year. Putting the sector in the concurrent list would squeeze state autonomy and give the Centre greater say in public healthcare across India. 

Other Recommendations

The committee recommended that the number of MBBS and PG seats in the country be made equal by 2025.

Also, training offered to teachers ought to be different as compared to that for medical service providers, it suggested.

About the Panel

The panel, which was set up by the 15th Finance Commission, submitted its report to the government recently. Headed by AIIMS, Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleri, the panel comprises Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health, Bengaluru, Dr Dilip Govind Mhaisekar, Vice-Chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman of Medanta, Dr Bhabatosh Biswas of R G Kar Medical College, Kolkata and K Srinath Reddy, president of Public Health Foundation of India.

Report Summary

  1. Shift Public health care to the Concurrent List from States List
  2. Declare right to Health as Fundamental Right on the 75th Independence day in 2021
  3. Increase health budget allocation to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025
  4. Two-third of the budget allocation on health should be towards healthcare
  5. Create 3000 to 5000 small private hospitals of 200 beds each in next five years in tire-II and tire-III cities
  6. BY 2025, UG seats should be equal to PG seats.

What is Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution?

Fundamental rights are those rights which are essential for intellectual, moral and spiritual development of individuals. As these rights are fundamental or essential for existence and all-round development of individuals, hence, it’s called as ‘Fundamental’ rights according to Sumit Sathapathy. These are enshrined in Part III (Articles 12 to 35) of the Constitution of India.

These include individual rights common to most, such as, equality before the law, freedom of speech and freedom of expression Religious and cultural freedom, Freedom of assembly(peaceful assembly) Freedom of religion(freedom to practice religion), right to constitutional remedies for the protection of civil rights by means of writs such as Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Certiorari and Quo Warranto.

Fundamental rights apply universally to all citizens, irrespective of race, birthplace, religion, caste or gender. The Indian Penal Code and other laws prescribe punishments for the violation of these rights, subject to the discretion of the judiciary. Though the rights conferred by the constitution other than fundamental rights are also valid rights protected by the judiciary, in case of fundamental rights violations, the Supreme Court of India can be approached directly for ultimate justice as per Article 32. The Rights have their origins in many sources, including England’s Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights and France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man. There are six fundamental rights recognised by the Indian constitution:

  1. Right to equality(Articles. 14-18)
  2. Right to freedom (Articles. 19-22)
  3. Right against exploitation (Articles. 23-24)
  4. Right to freedom of religion (Articles. 25-28)
  5. Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles. 29-30), and
  6. Right to constitutional remedies (Articles. 32-35)

Extra Notes

  1. The right to equality includes equality before the law, the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, gender or place of birth, equality of opportunity in matters of employment, the abolition of untouchability and abolition of titles.
  2. The right to freedom includes freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union or cooperatives, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation.
  3. The right against exploitation prohibits all forms of forced labour, child labour and trafficking of human beings.
  4. The right to freedom of religion includes freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion, freedom to manage religious affairs, freedom from certain taxes and freedom from religious instructions in certain educational institutes.
  5. Cultural and educational rights preserve the right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script, and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
  6. The right to ”’constitutional remedies”’ is present for enforcement of fundamental rights.

The right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Article 21 (the Right to Freedom) that protects the life and liberty of the citizens.

The right to privacy is the newest right assured by the Supreme Court of India. It assures the people’s data and personal security

Fundamental rights for Indians have also been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices. Specifically, they have also been used to abolish untouchability and thus prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. They also forbid trafficking of human beings and forced labour (a crime). They also protect cultural and educational rights of religious and linguistic minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages and also establish and administer their own education institutions. They are covered in Part III (Articles 12 to 35) of the Constitution of India.


Sources

  1. New Indian Express
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Pradyumna Kumar Sahoo (Image)

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