The One Stop Scheme by the Ministry of Women and Child Development has presented the opportunity to influence the current crisis intervention services. Through this scheme, crisis intervention centres called One Stop Centres have been established or are underway in various states across the country with the objective to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces and to facilitate immediate, emergency and non-emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counseling support under one roof to fight against any forms of violence against women. For effective implementation of these OSC, counselors must work in coordination with the hospital within which or near which they are located. Violence against women has been recognized as a health issue under the National Health Policy, 2017. The link between violence and health has been acknowledged along with the recognition to create services to respond to survivors. In 2005, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, was developed to offer civil remedies and reliefs to women facing violence. In 2012, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act was introduced. Both these laws have brought in the role of support persons and Protection Officers, generating a growing reliance on counselling services. It is imperative that counselors be trained to respond to different forms of VAW and children and be equipped with the perspective and skills in responding to VAW.
CEHAT has been instrumental in developing an evidence-based model to respond to VAW and children. In 2014, the MOHFW laid down the guidelines and protocols for medico-legal care for survivors of sexual assault including psychosocial support. CEHAT had the opportunity to present its evidence based work of having established Dilaasa, a hospital based crisis centre in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. This evidence-based model has also featured in the leading international medical journal Lancet.
CEHAT is pleased to announce its National Course on counselling survivors of violence. The course is aimed at building a critical feminist perspective on the issue of violence against women and children and enhancing skills of the participants in responding to survivors of violence.
Feminist counselling has been accepted as one of the most effective counselling method for women living in abusive relationships as it questions power and inequality within the relationship. It encourages women to understand what they are experiencing in context of inequalities that arise out of larger oppressive structures. This form of counselling is gender-sensitive and has been used effectively while engaging with various vulnerable groups including transgenders and boys.
A key objective of the National Health Policy 2017 is to align the private sector towards public health goals. Its main strategy is to ensure free comprehensive primary care provision by the public sector, supplemented by strategic purchase of secondary care hospitalization and tertiary care services from both public and non-government sector to fill critical gaps. The key mechanism of strategic purchasing is insurance schemes. Thus in the larger context of ensuring Universal Health Coverage, government funded health insurance schemes seek to play a very large role. Services would be strategically purchased from public as well as private sector to improve health outcomes, reduce out of pocket payments and minimize moral hazards for the purpose of scaling up the schemes and made more effective. The policy provides for preferential treatment to collaborating private hospitals/institutes for CGHS empanelment and in proposed strategic purchase by Government. However, we need to ask critical questions such as: What have been the various bottlenecks, successes and failures of the existing national and state level insurance schemes? What are the lessons learnt so far for these to be scaled up? What have been the experiences of the users? What has been the experience of for-profit private health sector? What are the pros and cons for adopting the insurance approach to realise the goal of Universal Health Care? What are the crucial gaps that need to be addressed for health systems strengthening for UHC and how?
Themes for the conference:
1. Critically evaluate the role of government funded health insurance schemes. What has been the experience of the public and private sectors vis-a-vis the insurance schemes?
2. Evidence based learning from the various National level and State level insurance schemes and their role in improving health outcomes, health equity, reducing out of pocket payments and moral hazards to improve scalability and efficiency.
3. Role of State in Health Systems Strengthening for UHC: Infrastructure, human resource, regulations, standardization, quality assurance, etc.
Culminating in the celebration of Human Rights Day, the fortnight from 25th November-10th December 2016 is observed worldwide as a campaign to end VAW.
Upcoming National Conference on Health Insurance in India - 2017
This year's calendar is aimed at creating awareness about gender in medical education.