A people’s health manifesto released on Monday demanded that the expenditure on the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)’, estimated to range between ₹12,000 and ₹50,000 crore as per different estimates, should be spent on expanding public health facilities and creation of permanent public assets.
According to National Herald, the manifesto also requested to ensure ‘Right to Healthcare’ as a fundamental right and urged them to stop privatising district hospitals and corporatising medical education.
It also called upon the government to ensure universal and affordable healthcare people.
The manifesto has urged political parties to commit to raise public expenditure on health to 3.5% of the GDP in the medium term and to 5% in the long run.
The people’s manifesto also demands all future governments to guarantee people access to essential and life-saving medicines and diagnostics in all public facilities.
“The scope and coverage of this scheme should be no less than the ongoing schemes in Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Rajasthan, which would ensure access to the full range of essential medicines and medical investigations, without any fees, at all levels of health facilities,” the manifesto says.
It also urged political parties to revive existing public sector units and establish new public sector drugs and vaccine production units.
“Provide adequate funding to all public sector medicine research institutions. Encourage pharmaceutical research through Open Source Drug Discovery mode,” it says.
According to National Herald, the manifesto also lists the following demands:
- Regularise all contractual health workers
- Provide adequate training to public health staff
- Ensure fair wages and decent working conditions and protection from stifling labour laws
- Reverse the trend of reducing the national health budget in recent years