Protests Against the Chhattisgarh Govt’s Proposal to Privatise Rural Healthcare

Protesting organisations demanded that public healthcare structures must be strengthened, particularly in the rural areas to make healthcare accessible and equitable.

Image Source: Deepika/Twitter

32 civil society organisations in Chhattisgarh held a symbolic protest on the evening of July 1 against the Congress-ruled state government’s proposal to provide industry status to health services, offering public grants to the private health sector to operate in rural Chhattisgarh.

The protest gathering was held at Ambedkar Park in the state capital of Raipur and a joint memorandum addressing CM Bhupesh Bhaghel was released, undersigned by the protesting organisations including Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA), Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, Adivasi Dalit Mahila Morcha, Chhattisgarh Kisan Sabha, Right to Food Campaign, and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), etc, demanding the rollback of the proposal for privatization of health services.

Activists and experts have been opposing the proposal since June 26 when it was announced, explaining that the pandemic has shown the absolute necessity of strengthening the public healthcare structures, particularly in the rural areas to make healthcare accessible and equitable.

‘It is impossible to expect the private sector to provide healthcare in the farthest areas in Chhattisgarh given the existing realities. Nowhere has that happened in the past,’ Deepika, a member of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) told Gauri Lankesh Team.

The memorandum states that government’s decision to privatise health services is in stark contrast to the concept of a welfare state and with this step of the Chhattisgarh government, the entire population of the state along with the tribal-dominated people will be submerged under the burden of debt.

Along with the withdrawal of the proposal, the state government must ensure that primary health care is provided to its rural citizenry through government machinery. For this the State must substantially increase the budget allocated for health, provide better infrastructure, formal and regular recruitment of medical professionals and avail all the necessary medical equipment, the protesting organisations have demanded.

‘Today’s protest was held as an immediate response to the issue. It’s not just the health-rights organisations that have protested but also groups working for forest rights, farmers’ rights to name a few. We will follow this with protest gatherings at all the district levels throughout the state,’ Deepika further added.

Read More: Chhattisgarh Government to Privatise Rural Healthcare


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May 2024


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