Success of programmes depends on commitment and sensitivity CJ, MP Justice Shri Patnaik, Workshop on ‘Right To Health’ concludesBhopal:Sunday, September 14, 2008: Chief Justice of Supreme Court Justice Shri K.G. Balakrishnan has said that no government can deny medical treatment to a patient citing lack of resources in hospitals. In this connection the Supreme Court had conducted an enquiry.
The enquiry committee had recommended that facilities should be increased in hospitals and such a dialogue process should be started there through which medicare, doctors’ services, medical equipments and ambulance can be ensured for a patient in time. Justice Shri Balakrishnan expressed these view while addressing the concluding session of a workshop organised by Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission here today on the subject ‘Right to Health’. Justice Shri A.K. Patnaik, Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Chairperson of Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission Justice Shri D.K. Dharmadhikari, retired Supreme Court Justice Shri P.P. Navlekar, M.P. Human Rights Commissions members Justice Shri Narain Singh ‘Azad’ and Shri Vijay Shukla and the judges of M.P. High Court were present on the occasion.
Justice Shri Balakrishnan said that the International Declaration of Human Rights lays down to ensure food, clothes, air and social as well as medical services to every individual and his family to maintain good health. A human being has to be healthy so that he can continue to enjoy his right to life in the face of unemployment, handicap and old age. He said that the Supreme Court while delivering decisions in various cases has recognised right to health as essential. While disposing of a case the apex court has observed that no doctor or hospital can refuse to treat an accident-hit person in his medico-legal case. This would be tantamount to violation of medical code of conduct. The apex court has ruled that such an act is violation of right to protect life and freedom. With this decision of the Supreme Court, people have now got the right to emergency treatment. Citing another case, Shri Balakrishnan said that now the treatment meted out by charging fees has been brought under the purview of Consumer Protection Act. Action can also be taken against the doctor or hospital for indifference or shortcoming if the treatment is provided by charging fees. This legal provision will go a long way in protecting patients’ interests.
Justice Shri Balakrishnan said that during the last many years, various state governments have mobilised considerable resources. Medical services are also being provided in the private sector. But all these facilities have been confined to affluent people. The government must devise such ways that can extend benefit to poor sections of society as well. Justice Balakrishnan said that media has highlighted trafficking of human limbs. Similarly, activities of quacks and unsafe traditional medicines’ use have also come to light. The governments must undertake legal as well as administrative recourse to curb these shortcomings. He said that many contagious diseases are spreading from one to another country. Some years ago mad cow, sarce and avian flu. HIV/AIDS is also not coming under control. Under such circumstances, the declaration of human rights cannot be underestimated. Government as well as private agencies must undertake steps to check spreading of diseases from other countries by ensuring best services of specialists. He said that right to health will have to be recognised at the global level.
Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Shri A.K. Patnaik said that right to medical treatment is an innovative thinking. Shri Patnaik said that it is a moral concept that no one can lead a good life without health. He said that the International Declaration of Human Rights envisages freedom and dignity of human being. Shri Patnaik enumerated the provisions of law available about better health. Justice Patnaik said that denial of treatment to a patient by hospitals is violation of right to life of a person. He informed that good health is directly related to clean environment since people’s health will suffer if they live in an unclean environment. Shri Patnaik referred to a judgement in which the Supreme Court had directed that a slaughter house should not be set up there, if it affects the human health. He said that no programme can meet with success which is not implemented with dedication and commitment. Shri Patnaik said that the government should give attention of death of children due to malnutrition in Satna.
Chairperson of Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission Justice Shri Dharmadhikari said that large number of people are now coming to Human Rights Commission seeking justice due to expensive, time-consuming judicial system and complex administrative process. All possible efforts are made by the commission for redressing such people’s problems. Shri Dharmadhikari praised state government’s positive attitude towards M.P. Human Rights Commission. He said that the commission not only solves the individual problems but also tries to form public opinion a variety of public interest issues like drinking water, food and health. Shri Dharmadhikari said that the state Legal Service Authority has also extended considerable help in the cases referred to it by the commission..
Commission’s Inspector General of Police Shri Sushobhan Bannerjee highlighted the objectives of the workshop while Deputy Secretary Shri Vijay Chanra conducted the proceedings. Those present on the occasion included D.G.P. Shri S. K. Raut, commission’s principal secretary Dr. A.N. Asthana, Principal Secretary, Health, Shri Devraj Birdi, Professors of National Judicial Academy, trainee judges, district court judges, senior advocates, distinguished citizens and senior administrative and police officers of the state.