NHRC – JSA REGIONAL PUBLIC HEARINGS ON HEALTH RIGHTS
Related to Public and Private Healthcare sectors
DOWNLOAD IMPORTANT RESOURCES FOR THE PUBLIC HEARINGS
Protocols for Case Study on ESI in English
Format for documentation of mechanisms for community accountability in English
A series of public hearings on Health rights across India during 2015-16 will be collaboratively organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA). These hearings will focus on reviewing human rights violations in context of the public and private health care services in India, with a view to drawing attention to key systemic and policy related issues, along with issuing a range of related recommendations comprehensively. Series of public hearings on Health rights would be organised in various regions, followed by a National public hearing. This would provide a much-needed platform to share and discuss key issues today related to violation of Health rights of people in various parts of India, and would lead to issuing of a series of recommendations, would result in certain serious violations being taken up as human rights violations by NHRC, and would help build a climate for adoption of various measures required to ensure protection of health rights.
Methodology and broad structure of public hearings
Each regional public hearing would be a two-day event and would consist of series of sessions. In most of the sessions, the modalities used will include-
1. Testimonies by individuals or groups that have suffered health rights violations (as illustrations of policy and systemic issues).
2. Case studies of institutions or services or programmes (e.g. specific CHCs, District Hospitals or Public health institutions, Hospitals involved in schemes like RSBY, Sterilisation camps, etc).
3. Reports of surveys or studies concerning shortfall of facilities, services, human power, medicines etc. in the public health system, and similarly relevant data / surveys and studies concerning the private medical sector and PPP arrangements.
4. Presentations by persons from the Health sector with broad based experience. Presentations would be made by activists from the JSA network, and senior Health sector experts, including members of the NHRC Core group on Health.
Responding to these testimonies and presentations, concerned public officials (such as State Health Secretaries / Mission Directors / Directors of Health Services / State and National medical councils) will be invited to respond. A panel led by NHRC members and officials will comment upon the issues, and finally discussion towards recommendations ensuring corrective actions would be conducted in each session.
Sessions in Regional Public Hearings
The programme for regional hearings would include following broad themes:
Day I: Promoting Health rights in the context of Public Health Systems
Session 1: Review of delivery of quality guaranteed public health services, to ensure people’s health rights–State wise testimonies and case studies on people’s critical experiences of Public health services, with focus on more general and frequently encountered issues. Individual testimonies should be accompanied by case studies or survey reports which would demonstrate that the problem being presented is not just an individual incident, but is of a more general or systemic nature. (See suggested themes for this session in the section on information collection related to Public health services). This would be followed by response from State Health officials on the issues raised, and discussion.
Session 2: Emerging Systemic and Policy Issues related to Public health services (this will be based on the testimonies and case studies in session 1, linking these to systemic analysis and policy recommendations regarding Health budgets, infrastructure strengthening, availability of Human power, procurement of medicines, capacity building training to healthcare providers, monitoring and supervision, clinical trials and Health rights aspects of major Health programmes, etc.
Session 3: Community accountability, Peoples’ participation and Governance issues in Public health system (including status of Community based monitoring (CBM), grievance redressal mechanisms, people’s participation in functioning of Rogi Kalyan Samiti (Patient Welfare Committee) and health planning processes, issues related to appropriate utilisation of flexible funds at various levels etc).
Day II: Ensuring Patients’ Rights in context of Private Medical Care providers
Session 4: State wise testimonies on violations of Patients’ rights and Human rights violations in Private hospitals (e.g. denials of right to medical records, right to emergency medical care, right to free medical treatment to survivors of sexual violence and acid attack, right to second opinion, refusal to hand over body of patient until entire hospital fees have been paid, insisting that medicines must be purchased from Hospital’s own medical store, non-provision of free beds to poor patients in Trust / Charitable hospitals etc.)
Session 5: Patients’ Rights violations in context of publicly supported Health insurance schemes and Public Private Partnerships (including RSBY, other State specific schemes such as insurance schemes involving private providers, and fulfillment of public obligations by private hospitals which have received public subsidies)
Session 6: Ensuring effective regulation of Private medical sector for protection of Patients’ rights (dealing with regulation of costs of services in context of high out-of-pocket expenditures, status of implementation of Clinical Establishment Act (CEA) or similar law in each state, role being played by Medical Council in ensuring protection of Patients in context of Code of Medical Ethics, violation of code by certain doctors etc)
During the regional hearings, we understand that there would also be a window / desk run by NHRC to receive individual complaints / grievances, which would be acted upon by NHRC appropriately.
Contact for more details on the public hearings:
Dr. Abhijit More
Plot No.140, Flat No. 3 & 4, Aman E Terrace, Dahanukar Colony, Kothrud,
Pune – 411029
email: janarogyaabhiyan[at]gmail.com, Mobile No. 9168917788.
Ganapathy Murugan/ Vandana Prasad
c/o Public Health Resource Network
G-46, First Floor, Green Park Main,
New Delhi – 110016
email: phrc.delhi[at]gmail.com and delhi[at]phrnindia.org
Hearing for Western Region resceduled to 6-7 January, 2016.
The first regional hearing for the Western Region (comprising Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa) will be conducted on 6th and 7th January, 2016 in Mumbai. Download the notice providing details of how to present cases of denial of Right to Healthcare in Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi and English.