Tamil Nadu's Villupuram Member of Parliament (MP) and VCK leader D Ravikumar wrote to the Lok Sabha, proposing a law, which guarantees 'Right to Health' to every citizen of the country on Friday, July 9. Though Article 21 guarantees protection of life and personal liberty, the Indian Constitution does not explicitly recognise the 'right to health' as a fundamental right. The proposed bill will be called One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment Constitution Bill, 2021. It proposes to insert new Article 21 (B), reported The News Minute.
"Under Right to Health, (1) every person shall have access to affordable and quality health care services, and (2) the State shall take measures towards the progressive realisation of the right under clause (1)," Ravikumar wrote. The MP requested to insert new Article 21 B and under this new Article no one shall be refused emergency medical treatment.
Several lawmakers in that past sought amendments to recognise right to health as a fundamental right. In 2017, Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh, Vijayasai Reddy, had sought that the 'Right to Health' be made a fundamental right. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill had proposed that the state shall provide health protection to all citizens, including prevention, treatment and control of diseases and access to essential medicines. The Bill said that all citizens should also have access to basic health services, emergency medical treatment and mental healthcare. It further stated that the state should earmark not less than 8 per cent of the annual financial statement towards healthcare.
Rupin Bora, Rajya Sabha MP from Assam had written to Parliament in 2018, requesting amendment of the Bill recognising health as a fundamental right. The MP said that the Indian Constitution does not recognise the Right to Health as a fundamental right although some provisions of the Directive Principles of State Policy are directly or indirectly related to public health. Article 47 directs the States to raise the nutrition levels and standard of living of people and to improve public health.
In 2019, MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi also introduced the Right to Universal and Free Health Care Bill in the Rajya Sabha.