Friday, January 05, 2007

National health assembly begins from March 23

HT CorrespondentBhopal, January 5, 2007

THE JAN Swasthya Abhiyan will organise the second National Health Assembly in Bhopal from March 23-25, to discuss the impact of increasing privatisation in the health sector on the health scenario in the country. Informing this at a press conference here on Friday, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan’s Dr Amit Sen Gupta condemned the Union and State Governments of falling into traps of the private sector. “In the name of privatisation of health services, Governments are just shirking away from their basic responsibilities even as the health indicators in the country remain to be as bad as ever,’’ Dr Sen Gupta alleged.

He said the three-day assembly in March would mainly discuss the impact of globalisation in dismantling of the public health system in India. It would also discuss globalisation’s impact on people’s lives.

The assembly will also try to brainstorm on key concerns like the strengthening and reformation of the public health system, regulation of private sector, ensuring access to essential medicines and the need for women’s health for their rights, Dr Sen Gupta stated. Participants from all over India will be taking part in the assembly while foreign delegations – from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Latin American Countries and Africa – were also expected to arrive at the assembly, Dr Sen Gupta stated.

Assembly’s organising chairman Sharad Chandra Behar pointed out that the right to health was still not being considered as a fundamental right in India. “Even the right to education has been added as a fundamental right but no one is concerned to do the same about the right to health,’’ Behar lamented. Abhiyan’s Dr Vandana Prasad criticised the poor implementation of health services in the country and the State. She said National Rural Health Mission, Janani Suraksha Yojana and similar schemes were not being carried out effectively. “The child mortality rate in India still remains to be of great concern, as pointed out by the Third National Family Health Survey,’’ she stated.

MP Jan Swasthya Abhiyan coordinator Dr Ajay Khare, MP Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti executive president Asha Mishra and other office-bearers were also present.

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