Nation/City

Rajasthan Govt. urged to stop privatisation of ‘Public Healthcare’

Rajasthan Govt. urged to stop privatisation of ‘Public Healthcare’

Rajasthan Government has been handing over the management of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) to private operators, under the "Run a PHC Scheme". Tenders were invited for 213 PHCs - and 40 have reportedly been handed over already to such bidders. The government has also initiated Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana (BSBY), an ambitious flagship scheme of the current government which again relies heavily on private providers to deliver health care services. Activists believe that the state cannot become a "purchaser" of healthcare services on behalf of people, and must retain its role as "provider". Rajasthan lags far behind several other states on crucial health indicators. The state has shown some improvement in infant mortality rate, institutional births and immunisation in the past decade. Yet, much remains to be done for controlling anaemia, malnutrition, access to antenatal care and other outreach services. As per NFHS-4 data (2015- 16), only 38.5% of pregnant women reported receiving four Ante-Natal Care (ANC) check-up visits (against 23.4% in NFHS-3) and only 9.7% mothers reported receiving full Ante-Natal Care (was 6.3% in NFHS-3). Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, an umbrella group of NGOs working in Rajasthan, submitted a memorandum and called on the state government to stop privatization of public healthcare facilities.