Lakhs of Indians cannot afford a doctor if they fall sick. Lakhs of Indian children are still out-of-school. Free or affordable government hospitals and schools are not adequate and private services are unaffordable.
India is a top destination for medical tourism but quality healthcare is out of reach of millions of Indians. Our government spends the lowest amount on essential public services (Health and Education), amongst all of the BRICS countries. Almost two-thirds of all health spending by an average citizen in the country is out-of-pocket, resulting in 7% of the population falling into poverty every year.
Further, public expenditure on education has been declining and education is being privatized. The Right to Education Act has failed to achieve its objectives even after 8 years of its implementation. Nearly 2 crore children in India are out of school. They are pushed into child labour, early marriage, and gendered violence.
We demand all political parties to increase spending on basic essential services (Health and Education) and promise to curb all forms of privatization of public services.
1. We demand an increase in public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP in the short term, to be increased to 5% subsequently. This will ensure universal access to free medicines and health care in all public health centres and availability of qualified health professionals.
2. Take urgent action to expand and strengthen the public health system to ensure quality and availability of completely free healthcare, medicines and diagnostics at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and for that significantly increase budget, staff and infrastructure.
3. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) under Ayushman Bharat, based on the discredited ‘insurance model’, should be abandoned and existing publicly funded health insurance schemes (PMJAY and different state health insurance schemes) absorbed into an expanded and strengthened public health system.
1. We demand 100% compliance with the RTE norms within 3 years of formation of the new government. The government must spend at least 6% of the GDP, in line with the global education financing benchmarks.
2. Ensure all out of schoolchildren are brought back to schools and provided quality inclusive education. It is important to particularly plan for the uninterrupted education of girls to ensure their equitable comprehensive development given they are more prone to drop out due to social discrimination.
3. The Union and respective State governments should expedite the process of recruitment for vacant teachers’ positions and put in place appropriate mechanisms for pre- and in-service teacher training, timely availability of textbooks and creation of other infrastructural facilities to ensure RTE compliance as soon as the new government is formed.
Your urgent support will help demand the national political parties to include the aforementioned demands in their election manifesto.
This petition will be submitted to National Political Parties
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