Mumbai: Protest march held at Azad Maidan by NGO’s for patient’s rights

Their key demand is that the government should increase the spending on health budget. And the state and civic-run hospitals should be upgraded to accommodate a maximum number of patients. ASHA workers have also participated in this protest to highlight the issues that they have been facing since the past few years

Protest march held at Azad Maidan for patient’s rights

Patients’ rights organisations and non-government organisations (NGO’s) on Wednesday, January 23, launched a massive protest march at Azad Maidan in Mumbai.

The NGO’s working to protect the patient’s rights are demanding better facilities and quality medical care services in the state and civic-run hospitals of Maharashtra.

On Wednesday, January 23, around 4,000 health activists, ASHA workers, medical officers and members of Nurses Association, had gathered at Azad Maidan to protest against the government’s indifference towards healthcare.

Azad-Maidan-protest

The NGO’s and the health activists alleged that the government’s apathy towards the healthcare system is forcing patients to opt from the private sector, which in turn increase the health expenses of the patient.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Abhijit More, Convener of the Jan Aarogya Abhiyan, a Pune-based NGO said, “During the past five years the government-run healthcare system has completely collapsed in the state of Maharashtra. Also, the state doesn’t have a full-time health minister. Shortage of medicines in the government-run hospital is also a major area of concern. If the government aims to provide better medical facilities to the poor patients. Then they should increase the health budget.”

Health activists said that apart from the core demands, there are several issues faced by the ASHA workers and rural healthcare staff, which are equally important.

ASHA workers protesting at Azad Maidan, Mumbai
ASHA workers protesting at Azad Maidan, Mumbai

“The government is not looking too keen to solve the issues of ASHA workers. They are the pillars of the rural healthcare system in the state. If the government doesn’t pay heed to our demands. We will soon launch a massive agitation against the government,” added Dr More.

According to the health activists, due to the non-availability of the medicines in the govt-run hospitals; poor and needy patients are forced to purchase medicines from outside. But, the government is yet to take any action on this issue.

Key demands and concerns of the all the protesting NGO’s

  • Privatisation of the government-run hospitals should be immediately stopped
  • Health budget should be increased from Rs 13,450 crore to Rs 18,000 crore
  • Payment issue of the ASHA workers should be resolved as soon as possible