Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Rajasthan becomes first state to guarantee Right to Health


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Right to Health

Mains level: Read the attached story


The Rajasthan Assembly passed the Right to Health (RTH), even as doctors continued their protest against the Bill, demanding its complete withdrawal.

Right to Health (RTH): A conceptual insight

  • RTH is a fundamental human right that guarantees everyone the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
  • It is recognized as a crucial element of the right to an adequate standard of living and is enshrined in international human rights law.

Scope of RTH

  • RTH covers various health-related issues, including-
  1. Access to healthcare services, clean water and sanitation, adequate nutrition, healthy living and working conditions, health education, and disease prevention.
  2. Accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare services,
  3. Eliminating barriers to healthcare access
  4. Informed consent to medical treatment and accessing information about their health.

What is the Rajasthan Right to Health Bill?

  • Free treatment: RTH gives every resident of the state the right to avail free Out Patient Department (OPD) services and In Patient Department (IPD) services at all public health facilities and select private facilities.
  • Wider scope of healthcare: Free healthcare services will include consultation, drugs, diagnostics, emergency transport, procedures, and emergency care. However, there are conditions specified in the rules that will be formulated.
  • Free emergency treatment: Residents are entitled to emergency treatment and care without prepayment of fees or charges.
  • No delay in treatment: Hospitals cannot delay treatment on grounds of police clearance in medico-legal cases.
  • State reimbursement of charges: After emergency care and stabilisation, if patients do not pay requisite charges, healthcare providers can receive proper reimbursement from the state government.

Existing schemes in Rajasthan

  • The flagship Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme provides free treatment up to Rs 10 lakh, which has been increased to Rs 25 lakh in the latest budget.
  • The Rajasthan Government Health Scheme covers government employees, ministers, current and former MLAs, etc.
  • The Nishulk Nirogi Rajasthan scheme provides free OPD and IPD services in government hospitals and covers about 1,600 medicines, 928 surgicals, and 185 sutures.
  • The Free Test scheme provides up to 90 free tests in government hospitals and has benefited 2.93 crore persons between March-December 2022.

Need for the RTH Scheme

  • The state prioritizes healthcare and wants Rajasthan to be a great example of good health.
  • The Health Minister has received many complaints about private hospitals asking for money from patients who have the Chiranjeevi card.
  • So, they are bringing in a new law to stop this.
  • The new law will make sure that future governments follow it and provide free healthcare to everyone.

Controversy with the RTH Law: Emergency Care Provisions

  • Emergency care was a contentious issue in the RTH.
  • The clause states that people have the right to emergency treatment and care for accidental emergency, emergency due to snake bite/animal bite and any other emergency decided by the State Health Authority under prescribed emergency circumstances.
  • Emergency treatment and care can be availed without prepayment of requisite fee or charges.
  • Public or private health institutions qualified to provide such care or treatment according to their level of health care can offer emergency care.

Issues raised by healthcare professionals

  • Existing burden of schemes: Doctors are protesting against the RTH because they question the need for it when there are already schemes like Chiranjeevi that cover most of the population.
  • Specialization concerns: They are also objecting to certain clauses, such as defining “emergency” and being compelled to treat patients outside their specialty as part of an emergency.
  • Unnecessary obligations: The Bill empowers patients to choose the source of obtaining medicines or tests at all healthcare establishments, which means that hospitals cannot insist on in-house medicines or tests.

Way forward

  • Given the contentious nature of the Bill, it is important for all stakeholders to come to the table and engage in constructive dialogue to resolve the issues at hand.
  • It should involve liaison between government, doctors, patient advocacy groups, and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the concerns raised by all parties and identify potential solutions.
  • This could be followed by a revision of the Bill, incorporating feedback and suggestions from all stakeholders, and a renewed effort to build consensus and support for the legislation.
  • Additionally, greater efforts could be made to improve transparency and accountability in the healthcare system, with a focus on educating patients about their rights.


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