GUWAHATI, July 18 - Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust, non-profit research and educational organisation, working for the health rights, has decided not to observe Anti-Medical Terrorism Day this year on July 19 due to the ongoing pandemic.
The Trust has been observing this day for the last four years demanding quality and transparent health care system for all in India. The Trust has also been advocating for Right to Health as a fundamental right in India for the last three years.
According to a statement issued by the Trust, despite the Government of India�s commitment in 2004 to raise public spending on health care to 2 to 3 per cent of the GDP, it has been observed that the annual public spending on health care in the last 15 years remained a meagre 1 per cent of the GDP. A similar announcement made in the 2017 National Health Policy to increase public spending on health to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025 with no sign of implementation has impacted the management of COVID crisis regardless of some emergency spending.
The Trust has been persistently giving warnings that in the face of any kind of epidemic or pandemic, the country would suffer for want of necessary infrastructure.
During this pandemic, deficiencies in the public health care system in the country have come to the fore and should be a cause of concern. Due to the shortage of public health facilities during this pandemic, many non-COVID patients are deprived of treatment with the pandemic aggravating the already deplorable sight of public healthcare in India. The pandemic has led to 884 total non-virus deaths from January 30 to June 17, out of this, 335 were migrant workers.
Though accidents and starvation were the biggest causes of deaths, lack of medical care or attention has led to 63 deaths till July 17.
According to the Trust, due vaccination of children is being hampered through the existing schemes due to this COVID-19 crisis. In developing countries like India, diseases like malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea pose a greater threat to children than COVID-19, the management of which has adversely affected the immunisation programmes, giving rise to an apprehension that at least 117 million children this year would miss out the routine vaccination (Lancet, 2020).
Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust urged to consider the demand of incorporating the right to health separately in Article 21 of the Constitution or a separate law to make the health care system of the country transparent.
Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust also took this opportunity to salute those doctors and health workers and others who have been serving the nation and humanity in this hour of crisis and pay obeisance in the revered memory of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.