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Is Healthcare A Basic Human Right?

Updated on April 9, 2020
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Hi, I'm Sanjeev Nanda, and I love keeping up to date with current affairs.

The fundamentals of our constitution, or any constitution for that matter – are grounded in willful compliance. There is no power, except the very constitution, standing in the way of the governing structure, stopping them from (let’s say) reverting the democratic structure of a sovereign country, into a wasteland for power-hungry, money-grabbing outlaws. It is within this constitution – our constitution, where the powers that be have given us set ‘Fundamental Rights’, upon which the entire structure of governance is adjunct. Think of them as the lines in a note-book – it’s advisable to write between the lines, but who’s stopping you if you go a bit off the rails?

Right to – Equality, Freedom, Religion, Constitutional Remedies, and Privacy – are the core rights within our constitution. If anybody were to usurp any one of these from anyone, such an action would be termed “unconstitutional”.

So the why is the cognizable debilitation of a citizen not “unconstitutional”?

Believe it or not, the upholders of the law, will go to great lengths to ensure that particular rights are upheld. This is quite idealistic a majority of the time, as these enforcers often miss the forest for the trees. Nations across the globe – rich or poor – are dealing with the pandemic in their own justifiable way. There is however, a caveat – those who avail private, non-governmental means of relief, tend to fare better, than their “public services” availing counterparts.

It’s not even a secret; it’s the quiet part in the parenthesis, being said out loud. The government is participating in willful, dereliction, by the very code of the very constitution that gave birth to it?

But I’m afraid not – as there is no clause that calls for the government to be held accountable to such a pedestrian line of thinking. For you see, there is no government – only disparate bodies. They will tout accreditation, while relegating blame. Public health is the forte of the Health Ministry – and it’s a sad state of affairs, right at the center.

For you see, even though the government runs these poorly maintained hospitals, which have become corridors of horror in images, and videos, featuring Covid-19 victims – a vast majority of their supplies comes from privately owned companies. Testing kits, masks, and basic amenities remain below standard – only due to improper funding and attention. Private players laugh their way to the bank, providing the same amenities at 10 times the cost.

The case for betterment of public healthcare is undercut by the insurmountable lobby of wealth being tossed at politicians. In times like this, where only a multi-billion dollar stimulus can revive the economy, private healthcare faculties should drop their drive for profit, in favor of a humanitarian motive. Crazy, right! But at a time when money won’t be as prevalent in a society, as recession-bound as this one is – the privates will experience a far greater loss, and coax the government for additional relief.

They must choose the hard pill of solidarity now – or gulp the sweet nectar of a bail-out later.

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