Experts Criticise New Drug Policy
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08 April 2010
Criticising the new drug procurement policy of the state government, the Jan Aarogya Abhiyan has said that “the remedy for corruption is not centralisation but transparency”.
“Centralised decision making is equally prone to corruption. Therefore, all important details of drug procurement – which medicines were purchased, from whom, how much, when and at what rate – should be made available on government websites,” said Abhay Shukla, national joint convenor of Jan Swastha Abhiyan, the national body of the Jan Aarogya Abhiyan.
State health Minister Suresh Shetty had announced that a new drug procurement policy would be adopted from June 1 this year. Accordingly, all procurements would be done centrally in Mumbai and the decisions would be taken by a committee. The decision to centralise drug procurement was taken following cases of corruption at district-level, said Shukla. “We would like to remind the state government that centralised decision making is equally prone to corruption. What we need is transparency,” he added.
Since 2000, the Abhiyan has been demanding that the Tamil Nadu model of drug procurement should be adopted by the Maharashtra government since it is transparent and efficient.
Standard Charter of Patients’ Rights
Activists of JAA and other like-minded organisations have come together to form a patients’ rights committee in various cities to push for Standard Charter of Patients’ Rights. “Doctors’ organisations like the Indian Medical Association (IMA) have responded positively and we have prepared a joint statement on Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities. However, the state health Minister has as yet not given final approval to the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act (BNHRA) draft rules including Standard Charter of Patient’s Rights. We appeal the health minister to give final approval without further delay,” said Shukla.
Adopt national health bill: Shukla
The state government had declared the goal of “health for all by 2000 AD”. Ten years have passed and yet we are far away from this goal. The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) has, therefore, demanded that the National Health Bill be adopted at the earliest.
Revise poverty line for health card
The state health minister has announced that each person below the poverty line will get a ‘Health Card’. Given the background that many genuinely poor people are being excluded from the BPL list, JAA has demanded that the government should adopt the recommendations of the Saxena Committee and that of the Right to Food campaign about the poverty line. The health cards can be obtained by all the poor people only after revising the poverty line as per these recommendations.