• Why in News- The RTH Bill focuses on access to healthcare, and guarantees several rights to patients, including privacy, dignity, and control over their health records, but what triggered the 16­ day strike by doctors was the attempt to bring private healthcare enterprises into the circle. 
  • As per the National Crime Records Bureau data, over 10,000 people died in road accidents in the State in 2021. Those who survive are often saddled with debts. 
  • A report published by the Public Health Foundation of India in 2019 says that about 55 million Indians were pushed into poverty in a single year due to healthcare costs. 
  • The RTH Bill focuses on access to healthcare, and guarantees several rights to patients.
  • Private sector doctors however alleged there was no clarity on what is ‘emergency’ and which hospitals could be drafted for the operation of the law. 
  • Rajasthan government bought peace with the striking doctors by removing hospitals and clinics with less than 50 beds out of the RTH ambit, initially. ‘Relief’ has now been given to establishments that have not taken any kind of government subsidy. 
  • Rajasthan has a primary healthcare centre (PHC) every 10 km (except in the desert districts like Churu). 
  • There are 2,265 PHCs across Rajasthan, and 151 beds available for a population of one lakh (better than Uttar Pradesh and Kerala), and 12 community health centres for a 10 lakh population, but specialised care is available at a distance of 50 km to 80 km.
  • This is not the first time the Rajasthan government is trying to rope the private sector into mandatory health services. 
  • Under the existing Mukhya Mantri Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana, the universal health coverage scheme, 1.39 crore families have been insured for ₹25 lakh. 
  • Rajasthan is targeting an increase in its medical colleges to 35 from 30 (the number has gone up from eight since 2018) by 2025. 
  • As private hospitals cater to 60% of the population in the state, that is why the government had hoped to make them a part of the collective. 
  • In 2021, Rajasthan launched the Chiranjeevi scheme, which covers 88% of the State’s population, according to the National Family Health Survey 2019­-21. 
  • The health allocation was 7% of the State budget in 2022-­23. This year, it rose to 7.4%, one of the highest among States. 
  • Since the Bill proposes to provide free medicines and diagnostics to all patients, it will be particularly beneficial to those with chronic conditions that require regular medications and tests.

Right now the Bill does not specify the exact mechanism for compensation to private institutions. The details will be incorporated in the rules to be formulated once the Bill becomes an Act, and a mechanism of “auto approval for payments” will be developed.