Health right is an essential component of the universal right. The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The constitution of Nepal 2015 has redefined health rights as basic human rights. The new constitution addresses right to health in article 35 which highlights that 1) Every citizen shall have the free basic health services from the State and no one shall be deprived of emergency health services, 2) Every Citizen shall have the right to get information about his or her medical treatment, 3) Every citizen shall have equal access to health services, 4) Every citizen shall have the right of access to clean drinking water and sanitation.
Since 2007 Nepal has adopted a policy of free health care services to the poor and vulnerable citizens attending primary health care centers and district hospitals to meet the demand of rural population, poor and needy people. The government has brought health services closer to the communities through a decentralized health system. Similarly the government of Nepal has introduced new national health policy 2014 replacing the two decades old national health policy 1991. The 1991 policy was based on rural health while access to health care was its major focus. Similarly the policy had focused more on combating communicable diseases. To protect the achievements that have been made so far and to adequately address prevalent and new challenges faced within health sector, National health policy 1991 was updated and National health policy 2014 was formulated.
In the past two decades Nepal has made notable progress on improving the overall health outcomes of its citizens. Between 1990 and 2014 Nepal has successfully reduced under five mortality rate as well as maternal mortality rate. Despite the progress our country still faces many challenges including inequality. Many citizens continue to face financial, socio-cultural, geographical barriers in accessing health services. Despite efforts to reduce the gender based inequality the women of Nepal are still marginalized in society which affects their health and wellbeing. Therefore the government has introduced special programs and incentives such as free health care programme and incentives such as free health care programme and safe delivery incentive scheme to reduce inequity in health. Similarly the government has emphasized on improving access to health care services by expanding health facilities and strengthening community based interventions. In the last few years the government has also initiated in providing free health services including treatment of non communicable disease like diabetes, cancer, kidney problem and gynaecological problems like uterine prolapse. Similarly Nepal has recently introduced the Social Security Scheme in few districts and plans to increase its coverage throughout the country. However the question remains as whether poor families can afford it in spite of the scheme being designed to decrease the financial burden of the poor.
Thus despite these progress and interventions, Nepal faces a huge challenge in implementing health based policies in reality. It is still to be observed whether all the health services provided by the government are accessible to all. In Nepal the political dynamics has changed. Nepal had its first local election after 20 years and first to be held since the promulgation of 2015 constitution. This is a huge opportunity for all of us to advocate for different health rights issues. Against this background, RECPHEC plans to prepare first health desk report to understand the health rights of people in the country. In this regard RECPHEC will conduct desk review of government’s effort and also compile case story reports from district based network. The first health desk report will be made public in 2019. With this vision, RECPHEC conducted Training of Trainers on health rights violation to its staff and representatives of 7 Provinces on 12 and 13th September 2017. The main aim was to enable the participants to understand the health rights issues in the country and to compile case stories of health rights violation in respective districts.
Review of Orientation on preparation of health rights violation case story
After the TOT held in Kathmandu, programme officers of RECPHEC together with focal persons, organized orientation programme on preparation of health rights violation case story in 45 districts out of the total network of 58 district across the country. During the programme, information on health rights, status of health of people in the district, free health services, modality of case story compilation was shared and discussed. Similarly during the discussion most of the participants demanded thorough knowledge on human rights/health rights issues to help them identify and prepare health rights violation case stories. Thus considering the demand and the need of providing detail orientation on case story preparation to the participants, RECPHEC conducted a two days National Conference of Health Rights & Tobacco Control District Network on Health Rights Violation Case Study from 18 to 19 December 2017 in Kathmandu. This national consultation was participated by more than 110 delegates.
Objectives of National Consultation of Health Rights Violation Case Study
1. To understand on human rights broadly including socio cultural, economic and political rights
2. To understand different components of health rights
3. To understand the basics of health rights violation
4. To enable the participants to identify health rights violation issues
5. To capacitate the participants in understanding health rights violation reporting format
6. To capacitate the participants in compiling health rights violation cases
1. Experts from different backgrounds will provide training on different human rights and health rights issues supporting the programme.
2. Each Provincial Representatives have separate sessions to formulate Action Plan for the year 2018-19.
The participants had full orientation on Human Right, Health Rights and whole process of Health Right Violation Case Study collection & compilation. Each district has identified one “Focal Person”.
Venue : Alpha House, New Baneshwor
Time : 9 AM to 5 PM each day
Date : 18th & 19th December, 2017 (Poush 3 &4, 2074)