Why Should Health be Declared a Fundamental Right?

Why Should Health be Declared a Fundamental Right?

Healthcare is a fundamental right across several countries, as governments shift their vision towards a more human-centric approach to policy making. It allows citizens to feel empowered in their everyday lives, without worrying about loss of employment or opportunity due to poor health conditions. 

In India, it is estimated that close to 63 million people could slip back into poverty due to catastrophic healthcare costs. This can be critical to the functioning of the country’s infrastructure.  India’s healthcare systems need to be upgraded, with greater access to treatment and medication to ensure that patients are looked after by skilled doctors with quality equipment. 

Impact on the labour pool in India 

There is a significant impact on the skilled and unskilled labour pool in India when healthcare access is limited or is costly. Key industries, such as construction, transportation, logistics, and others are directly affected by loss of valuable labour force. Access to quality outpatient and inpatient care can help strengthen the country’s labour force and boost productivity. 

Additionally, by leveraging the right technological solutions healthcare can be made that much more accessible to millions of people. Innovations, such as the eCLINIC by Medanta, can enable doctors from around the country to diagnose and treat patients using digitized telecommunications. Technology can save lives remotely, while also educating more people about diseases and symptoms through a scale-driven approach. 

Universal participation in healthcare

With healthcare as a fundamental right, countries can expand the reach of their services, communication, and treatment, to all regions. There is greater participation within the healthcare ecosystem, with stronger emphasis on self-sustainability and protecting family health. Patients will seek treatment sooner, and benefit from a longer and disease-free lifespan. 

Universal participation also ensures that transmittable diseases are curtailed earlier. Government resources can be focused on strategic planning and management, rather than being reactionary to novel viruses. With universal participation, key containment sites can be recognized locally quickly as patients visit their treatment centres more often. 

Greater access for healthier children 

One of the greatest parameters to consider when proposing healthcare to be a fundamental right in India is the role of healthcare on children. Children born in India are susceptible to a range of challenges, with major causes of infant mortality being low birth weight (35.9%), pneumonia (16.9%), and birth asphyxia & birth trauma (9.9%). 

By enhancing access to healthcare, children can be brought up in a safe environment with complete supervision from doctors and specialists across all regions. Improvement in children’s health conditions directly impact their educational outcomes and subsequently their contribution to the Indian economy. India’s greatest asset, its youth, can help spearhead its growth through the support of a quality healthcare system. 

Nancy Ahuja

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