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Jaipur: The Rajasthan High Court has directed the state government to file an additional affidavit on the present status of 42 primary health centres (PHCs) which are being run on public-private partnership (PPP) mode under ‘Run a PHC‘ scheme.

The division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice V K Vyas gave the order following a PIL by Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA).

Sudhindra Kumawat, counsel for the petitioner, told the court that the state government had earlier issued a tender notice on July 23, 2015, by which 299 PHCs were to be handed over to private parties according to ‘Run a PHC’ scheme. But it was withdrawn after the same was challenged by JSA in an earlier PIL, followed by the court issuing notice to the government.

However, the state government again issued a fresh short-term e-tender notice on December 28, 2015, to hand over 213 PHCs in Rajasthan to private players on PPP mode.

The petitioner JSA again challenged the fresh tender saying that PPP is an invidious privatization scheme that is ultimately designed to destroy the public healthcare system in the state. It argued that private bodies would enter into collaboration with the government only because of the sheer motive of profit-making and handing over PHCs to them would facilitate development of unholy nexus between the private parties running the PHCs and the bigger private medical establishments in the neighbourhood.

It pointed out that such attempts to hand over PHCs on PPP mode have been tried in a few other states but they failed. The health department of Karnataka had tried to do away with the Arogya Bandhu Scheme but later it took the PHCs back into its fold.

State government in its reply said that the process of tender had already been completed and in the first phase, 42 primary health centres have been handed over to private parties and they are running smoothly.

But these facts were countered by the counsel for the petitioner. Thus, HCdirected the state government to file an additional affidavit regarding the present status of 42 primary health centres already running on PPP mode and posted the case for the first week of September.

source TOI