HENI Equilogue: the journey of the Right to Health in Rajasthan: contestations, lessons, and the way forward
The Government of Rajasthan enacted the Rajasthan Right to Health Care (RTH) Act 2023 on 21st March 2023. This is a historic event setting a precedence for other states in India around the imperative to legally recognise the right to health. The economic and health indicators of Rajasthan throw light on the prevailing challenges around accessing healthcare services afflicting the people of the state. The enactment of the Rajasthan RTH Act is expected to address these challenges with obligatory attention paid to protecting families from catastrophic health expenditures.
This act owes its design and enactment to years of advocacy by Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in the state with a pioneering role played by the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan’s (JSA) Rajasthan Chapter. From drafting a prototype of the bill to resisting the government’s attempts at narrowing the scope, JSA has been holding the government accountable for years to deliver on a legal reform with equity and justice at its core.
It is our pleasure to invite you to the 22nd Equilogue of the Health Equity Network India (HENI) which is hosting Chhaya Pachauli from the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan – Rajasthan Chapter to take us through the years of journey of the movement that shaped the design and enactment of Rajasthan Right to Health Care Act 2023 and the related contestations. She will throw light upon the provisions of the Act that speaks true to ‘right’ to health, the challenges confronting its implementation, and also discuss the lessons that act has for the rest of the country and the way forward.
Mark your calendars for 14th July 2023 | Friday | 1530-1700 IST
Format of the session: A Fireside Chat will be hosted by Devaki Nambiar with Chhaya Pachauli to provoke reflections on questions related to the history, lessons, and the way forward for the Right to Health Care Act of Rajasthan. The chat will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.
Chhaya Pachauli is associated with the organization Prayas and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA), the Indian chapter of People’s Health Movement (a worldwide network advocating for health rights), and has more than seventeen years of experience of working closely with the rural and tribal communities, especially in the state of Rajasthan, on diverse areas related to health, nutrition and access to medicines. She comes with wide expertise in community engagement in health care planning, monitoring, and policy advocacy. She has been one of the leading members in the “right to free medicines” campaign in Rajasthan, a successful campaign which led to the formulation and launch of “Free Medicines Scheme” in the state in the year 2011. She has since been part of several studies and interventions aimed at evolving systems and policies which augment people’s access to essential medicines and enforce rational treatment and prescription practices. She had lately been co-leading the campaign for “Right to Health Act” in Rajasthan which in March 2023 led to the enactment of first ever law on Right to Health by any state in the country. She is the Rajasthan State Coordinator for Jan Swasthya Abhiyan and is also the member of Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health (CORTH) of the University of Sussex which focuses on analyses of the intersections between cultures of human reproduction, social identities, health and technologies.
Fireside chat host: Devaki Nambiar
Devaki Nambiar is Program Director, Healthier Societies Strategy at the George Institute for Global Health India with appointments at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India, the University of New South Wales, Australia, and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, USA. She is a Health Policy and Systems Researcher (HPSRer) with over two decades of experience working in India and other Low- and Middle-Income Countries on decision-maker demand-driven research, postgraduate teaching in HPSR, as well as technical assistance with an emphasis on social exclusion, health equity and health for all. She is a former Fulbright, Fogarty, and NIH scholar, and Fellow of the Wellcome Trust/Department of Biotechnology India Alliance. She advises the WHO on health inequality monitoring, national programme re-orientation, and guideline development to leave no one behind. She serves on the Lancet-Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health post COVID-19 and advises Lancet Commissions on Women and Cancer as well as on Reimagining India's Health System. She is a member of the People's Health Movement and the Medico Friends Circle. Dr. Nambiar received her doctorate in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2009 and is a recipient of an Emerging Leader Award from the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine & Hygiene.