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IMA demands the withdrawal of Rajasthan RTH Bill

The Indian Medical Association has demanded that the recently passed Right to Health Bill (RTH) passed by the Rajasthan Assembly be withdrawn immediately.

Terming the Bill as Anti-People, the apex body of the doctors association in the country has called upon its members to observe a ‘Black Day’ by wearing a black badge on March 27, 2023.

It has further asked its district units to hold urgent General Body meetings and submit a memorandum to the district authorities to be forwarded to the Union Ministry.   

It should be noted that doctors in the state have been protesting the bill passed by the Rajasthan Assembly on March 21, 2023.

Announcing the protest, IMA National President Dr Sharad Kumar Aggarwal said in a message that the bill is undemocratic and draconian and appealed to 4lakh members to observe black day and urged them to tell people about the disadvantages of the bill.

Under the provision of the bill, the hospitals, either private or public, cannot refuse patients treatment under emergency conditions, including pregnancy-related complications, and are expected to grant them access to healthcare facilities, including medication, consultation, treatment, transportation and diagnostics even if they are unable to pay for their treatment.

The provision bill provides for reimbursement of the cost of stabilising and transferring the patients to another facility by the government.

The bill also provides the right to the patients to get access to healthcare in facilities and designated health centres across the state without depositing any advance payments and also gives them the right to purchase medicines or get tests done from centres of their choice.

The measure appears to be very helpful for patients, especially those who cannot afford to pay for treatment at private healthcare facilities, but private doctors claim that it will make them vulnerable.

While health activists across the state have applauded the bill's passage, private healthcare facilities in the state have been closed for the past 11 days, causing a large number of people to suffer.

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