Here is an invitation and a call for seeking endorsements for organizations , unions and networks who oppose privatistaion of Public health services
Please circulate widely and send your organizations/network/union endorsements to me By March 15th, the final schedule will be sent soon.
Discussing options to strengthen health services in public framework
Maharashtra State Government has recently come up with state level proposals to privatize key services in medical college hospitals and district hospitals. Two senior cabinet ministers – Minister for Medical Education and Research, Dr. Vijaykumar Gavit and Minister for Public Health and Family Welfare, Shri Suresh Shetty have floated proposals to privatize radiology services (like CT scan, MRI etc) and laboratory services in their respective departments, that is in 14 Government Medical College hospitals, and all District Hospitals across Maharashtra. On one hand our Prime Minister has expressed concern regarding our health system and has promised to substantially increase financial allocations to improve healthcare delivery to citizens, and Planning Commission of India is proposing to double its public health budget. The High Level Expert Group formed by the Planning Commission is recommending a system of Universal Health care for every citizen with strong emphasis on strengthening our public health system. On the other hand, our learned Ministers from Maharashtra Government are considering seriously regressive steps which would weaken public hospitals, and are likely to deny health rights to large number of citizens.
It seems that there is a larger design for privatization of the healthcare system in the state. Maharashtra State Government is planning to hand over huge sums of public money to insurance companies and large private hospitals through a flawed Private-Public Partnership (PPP) in the form of Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana (RGJAY). This scheme involves large scale public finances being given to corporate hospitals without adequate standardization or regulation of their services, and no protection of patients rights. At the same time, the government is planning to privatise its most revenue generating units in public hospitals like radiology services and laboratory services. The Public health system, which is already neglected by the state government, will collapse in this kind of negative policy environment, leaving people completely to the mercy of profit-seeking private hospitals. These changes will adversely affect not only poor people but also the middle class, for whom private healthcare is becoming increasingly unaffordable these days.
These are serious developments and we all need to come together urgently to stop privatization of key services in public hospitals. At the same time, various possible measures and options to improve services in these hospitals within the public health framework also need to be discussed and concretely proposed. Towards this end, Jan Arogya Abhiyan has taken initiative along with various mass organisations, trade unions and civil society organizations to organise a broad based state level convention involving all concerned stakeholders to discuss the issue and to chalk out strategies and action plans. Many civil society organizations, individual activists, progressive doctors and union representatives have shown their concern about privatization of these key health services by participating in a preparatory meeting conducted in Mumbai on 19th February 2012 as well as through signing the online e-petition.
We sincerely appeal to all conscious citizens and social organizations to participate in this convention and to come forward and support the emerging demand –
NO to privatisation, YES to strengthening of public health services in Maharashtra!
Details of the programme are as follows:
Date: 17th March 2012
Time: 11 am to 2.30 pm
Venue: Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, 2ND floor
near Azad Maidan, Mumbai
—————————————————–Names of networks and organizations———————————————————
Jan Aarogya Abhiyan, JAA, Maharashtra
Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Mumbai
Rangoonwalla Foundation, Mumbai
Lab Technians Union, Mumbai
Maharashtra Sarva Shramik Mahasangh
.Movement for Peace and Justice