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Draft National Health Bill 2009 open for public comments

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has come out with the draft National Health Bill 2009. This Bill aims to provide health, health equity and justice to all citizens of the country. It seeks to legalise the right to health care of every citizen along with other issues associated with health rights like access to good treatment, emergency care, etc.

In 2004, the National Human Rights Commission (N.H.R.C.) in collaboration with Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (J.S.A.) conducted many public hearings across the country on the right to health care. The findings were sent to the government recommending the enactment of a legislation to recognise and implement the right to health care of citizens.

On the heels of the recent protest against the Right to Education Bill, where the disability sector drew flak for slackening, this time around disabled rights activists are not taking any chances.

“The task ahead is to read and analyse this Bill carefully and compile comments and ensure that the concerns and issues of persons across disabilities, age group, gender, rural, urban, regional needs are adequately addressed,” says Mahesh Chandrasekhar, Advocacy Co-ordinator, C.B.R. Forum.

“We need to read the whole Bill, para by para, line by line and critique it from disabled people's point of view,” added Javed Abidi.

The current draft is available on the Ministry’s website and is open for public comments.

Click here to read the draft National Health Bill 2009 (PDF - 507 KB) (PDF file that opens in a new window)