Jana Arogya Anodolana, Karnataka, 120 people from various sanghatans held an overnight protest at Raichur, starting from 9 pm on 14th night going on upto 1 pm on 15th August 2013. The protest focused on issues specific to Raichur district and demanded that the district hospital should start functioning immediately following relocation, doctors particularly gynecologists should be appointed in all First Referral Units (FRUs) /taluk hospitals, PHC areas should be reorganized based on rational criteria, that OPEC hospital should be managed only by the government and free essential medicines should be provided in all public health facilities as in Tamil Nadu.
The protesters spent the entire night in the pouring rain singing protest songs of solidarity and raising slogans. Protesters highlighted an increase in maternal and infant deaths in the district mainly due to lack of doctors, lack of gynecologists in FRUs and non-functional district hospital. Nexus between government doctors and private hospitals were also highlighted that was pushing people to seek care in private.
District in charge Minister and Minister for Medical Education Dr. Sharan Prakash Patil met with the protesters in the morning. Responding to the demands he assured the protesters that there will be no involvement / partnership with private agencies in management of OPEC and all staff from Apollo management who were unceremoniously retrenched will be taken back on a ‘stipendiary’ basis. He said that the district administration has been making efforts to appoint doctors / gynecologists but it has been a challenge. But he agreed that this was an important priority issue and will be responded to immediately. On the issue of free essential medicines he was very positive and said ‘It is on my priority list and I will definitely take it up’. Raichur district Committee will be following up on these assurances and will continue to keep up the pressure to ensure that these demands are met immediately.
News contributed by
Raichur District Committee, Janaarogya Andolana Karnataka (JAAK),GRAKOOS, Navjeevan Mahila Okkoota, Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatane, Ruvari
News from the field
These are the news from the field.