April 11, 2011

Presentation of the UN-SR report before the Planning Commission on 23rd August 2010

The Planning Commission organized a meeting on the Report of the Mission to India of UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health; and Ms Jashodhara Dasgupta, SAHAYOG was invited to make a presentation. This opportunity was used to also share the Recommendations from civil society during the Public Dialogue on the UN SR-RH report organized by the NAMHHR on 13th August. (For the a list of the Recommendations, see here:

Present at the meeting were three Members of the Planning Commission (Syeda Hameed, Arun Maira and Dr.Narendra Jadhav); as well as senior representatives of NHRC, NCW and MWCD. However inspite of being invited, there was no representative from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare present at this meeting.

In the discussion following the presentation of the UN SR report, Mr Maira was more concerned about the challenges in implementation, and did not think that a body reporting to the PM's office or to the legislature would actually be able to make the health system accountable. He preferred a more decentralized approach to accountability. Dr. Narendra Jadhav was not convinced that posting fresh medical graduates to rural areas would work - he said this had been tried earlier but there was no verification that the doctors actually went there. Abhijit Das highlighted the Human Rights dimensions of the sheer scale of deaths and serious illnesses faced by women as a result of this lack of accountability of health systems. The National Human Rights Commission officer mentioned that the NHRC was having a meeting of its Core Group to deliberate on the UN-SR report.

There was no time to formally present the CS recommendations from 13th, and print copies were handed around. However, the Members did look at them and refer to them.

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