Health rights of the urban poor

Authors : Mistry, Mani

Published Year: 1998

Paper Presented at the Medico Friend Circle Annual Meet on Resurgence of Infectious Diseases and the Indian Society, Wardha, January 1-3, 1998, 7 p.

Right to Health is intrisincally linked to Right to Life which is enshrined by the Constitution of India as Fundamental Right of every citizen. It thus logically becomes the duty of the state to ensure the Right to Health for all its citizens. The article 47 of the Constitution under the directive principles also reinforces the state's responsibility towards improving the public health. - " The state shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the state shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health". The article 47 of the constitution thus sees the states responsibility even beyond medical care, to responsibility towards good nutrition and living standards. Health related responsibilities are mentioned in the state as well as concurrent list; public health and sanitation, hospitals and dispensaries fall within the state list, while health care items like drugs and poisons, legal, medical and other professions, prevention of extension from one state to another of infections or contagious diseases or pests affecting men, animals or plants fall in the concurrent list.

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