Campaign on Availability of Free and Essential Medicines in the Government Health System in Chhattisgarh  

PHRS along with Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Chhattisgarh initiated a campaign on availability of free and essential medicines. In the planning part, a consultation was done with Oxfam, civil society members and State Health Resource Center.  Evidence was used on Medicine Budget allocation from the JSA PBI campaign for advocacy. The key personnel involved in the project are Ms. Sulakshana Nandi and Ms. Deepika Joshi. The objectives are (i) to build evidence on the availability of essential medicines in the state and (ii) advocacy with the stakeholders on ensuring the availability of essential medicines in the state.

 The major activities completed under the project are :-

  1. Public health facilities were sampled, and a medicine survey was conducted in 7 districts through a checklist based on the Essential Drug List of Chhattisgarh government. From facility surveys of 31 facilities (SHCs, PHCs and CHCs), shortages were found in the availability of essential medicines, with Primary Health Centres faring the worst. Many facilities shared that they receive medicines less than they have demanded, and also reported long delays in actual supply after putting demand for medicines.
  2. Case studies of two facilities in Kabeerdham and Kanker were done to understand the medicine supply and arising issues.
  3. Other activities included meeting government officials, visiting CGMSC and the office of the helpline 104 in the whole process to monitor the grievances against the non-availability of medicine. RTI application was submitted to access information regarding the grievances and their resolution status.
  4. A consultation was organised jointly by PHRS and JSA, with support from Oxfam India, on ‘Availability of essential free medicines in public sector’ on 29th March 2017 at Hotel Simran Pride, Pandri.  The consultation focussed on dissemination of the findings of various studies undertaken on the issue of availability of medicines and sharing of experiences from procurement and supply of medicines, to availability for patients. As a positive outcome of the meeting, the issue of non-supply of ART medicines was resolved, with the CGMSC buying the medicines for CGSACS.
  5. A review of newspaper articles on the issue at hand was conducted. Ms. Sulakshana Nandi has published several editorials in Nai Duniya on the same issue.

Strengthening Public Provisioning of Healthcare in India

The Chhattisgarh state JSA unit is involved in budget analysis activity through PHRS, with Sanket Development Group from Madhya Pradesh, and is financially supported by National Foundation of India. The project, which was initiated in 2015, has continued in 2016-17. State and regional workshops were conducted along with Sanket. The members from JSA and PHRS also participated in a budget analysis workshop held by State Health Resource Centre, with Dr. Ravi Duggal, Country Coordinator for International Budget Partnership, as the resource person. The key personnel involved in the project from PHRS are Ms. Sulakshana Nandi and Ms. Deepika Joshi. The objectives were to (i) build evidence on resource gap in health facilities and public health system in Chhattisgarh, especially concerning Human Resource situation and health budgets in the state and (ii) build a public campaign to develop public awareness towards health budgets and capacities of CSO/CBOs involved in JSA and other networks, to hold the state accountable in investing and allocating adequate budget towards public health system and allied sectors.

The major activities are as follows :-

  1. A pre-budget consultation was held in Raipur on 10th December 2016 followed by three regional budget consultations: in Kanker (South) on 10th March 2017, Ambikapur (North) on 11th March 2017, and in Bilaspur (Central) on 28th April 2017. The participants included Civil Society organizations from the region, FMRAI representative, non-profit hospitals, organisations providing legal aid, CBOs and the mitanin programmme members. The aim was to build capacity of participants in terms of understanding social sector budgets, specifically of the health sector. It also included discussions from the State health report card and discussions on the shortage of Human resources and medicines specifically.
  2. A charter of demands was prepared post-consultation. This was later shared with the Planning Commission and Health Department, Chhattisgarh.
  3. A policy brief on status of health and health budget in the state was prepared in Hindi and English. This included district health report cards of Kabeerdham and Kanker district.
  4. The CBGA-JSA partners meet on 17th and 18th January, 2017 was attended by Ms. Deepika, Ms. Sulakshana, and Mr. Chandrakant.
  5. Six articles were written by Ms. Sulakshana Nandi as JSA, Chhattisgarh member in the Nai Duniya newspaper.

Future plans :-

The proposal has been submitted, and the project period has been decided – October 1, 2017 to September 31st, 2018. 

Health Rights Advocacy For Social Accountability And Regulation Of Private Medical Sector

PHRS has undertaken a research study titled “Health Rights Advocacy For Social Accountability And Regulation Of Private Medical Sector” in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Delhi. This study has been commissioned by Oxfam India, and entails the development of four case studies describing the status and impact of privatization on public sector health care services. State specific topics chosen for the study include:  diagnostic services being run in PPP mode in Bihar, and the outsourcing of dialysis facilities in Delhi. In Chhattisgarh, two areas were chosen (i) outsourcing the recruitment and management of Human Resources to private agencies to remote and conflict areas, and (ii) outsourcing mobile medical units. The study was completed and disseminated at a national seminar on 20th January, 2017 at India International Centre, New Delhi.

  1. Executive Summary of Dr. Muthulakshmi Maternity Assistance Scheme ( DMMAS)
  2. Public health advocacy to reinstate reproductive rights of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs) in Chhattisgarh