On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (also known as Obamacare" legislation) it was a historic bill that presidents of the United States have tried for more than a century but could not pass. The bill was widely debated in the US Congress and was vehemently opposed by several stakeholders by the courts. Obamacare not only survived but has now become popular and thriving. According to previous estimates, it has insured more than 40 million Americans who can sleep with peace of mind that God forbid that if a health emergency arises, they will be protected from bankruptcy from all health care expenses. The passage of another landmark legislation, the Right to Health Bill, this month in my home state of Rajasthan, should be understood in this context.
Being from the state of Rajasthan, India, I am expressing my views: Whether it should be called the "Right to Health Bill" or the Right to Treatment" is a matter of semantics, but the basic premise is to provide emergency health care to the most vulnerable among us. It is in the best public health interest of the people of Rajasthan. It is a strange irony that some fellow doctors in Rajasthan are opposing it instead of advocating it.
It is understandable that we doctors have our own area of expertise and comfort level and not all private clinics and hospitals are equipped to treat emergencies. The government has thoughtfully accepted this demand and restricted emergency health care to a select few private hospitals, which are otherwise obliged to provide care for the poor who risk losing their life-long livelihoods in an unfortunate health emergency due to out-of-pocket expenses (OOP), the highest in the world.
Of course, this is not a perfect bill and clearly has room for reform during implementation, but that does not mean that it should be trivialised or politicized or withdrawn. As we move forward and keep learning and doing so that it better meets emergency health needs in a more affordable and accessible way.
We must hold the government accountable for ensuring that adequate funds and timely reimbursements are made as promised. We ensure that people treat doctors with respect and that people understand the limitations of medical and medical professionals. At the same time, doctors have to learn to be empathetic and professional when communicating with patients during health emergencies as we are trained to better manage expectations and communication.
Rajasthan polity has finally respected the mandate of the people and hence we doctors need to respect our professional oath and try to be a part of the solution instead of being a part of the problem. Let us celebrate another milestone in the rich history of healthcare reforms in Rajasthan by successive governments.
The history of health care reform around the world has taught us that health care is a fundamental human right, not a privilege. The triple aim of healthcare and global standards are affordability, accessibility and quality and India cannot remain behind. The practice of medicine is becoming Patient-centric and not Doctor centric, so we also need to change with time. Let us change our mindset from (Doctor is God) to (Patient is God). We are professionals and do not belong to the streets, we belong to our patient's bedside in our clinics and hospitals and follow our original “Chikitsa Dharma”, isn't that why we went to medical schools, to begin with, and to serve society?
Writer Dr Brahma Sharma MD is a Senior Consultant at The University of Pittsburgh VA medical center, USA
Clearly, there is a lot of hullabaloo around cyber security for hospitals since the cyber-attack that crippled AIIMS Delhi was reported on November 23 last year. Even two months after the attack, the IT systems of the country’s premier hospital were not fully restored. Was the AIIMS incident a one-off cyber-attack on a hospital in India? The number of cyber-attacks on the Indian healthcare industry was second highest globally, with 7.7 % of total incidence on the segment being witnessed in the country in 2021, cyber security intelligence firm CloudSEK reported in September last year, months ahead of the AIIMS attack. Globally, the Healthcare sector is a top target for cyber attacks. In May 2017, the NHS, was brought to a standstill for several days due to the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, affecting hospitals and GP surgeries across England and Scotland. Although the NHS was not specifically targeted, the attack highlighted security vulnerabilities and resulted in the cancellation of thousands of appointments and operations, together with the frantic relocation of emergency patients from stricken emergency centres.
So, what is there to steal from hospitals and why is the healthcare sector attractive to cyber attackers? Hospitals are attractive targets for cyber attackers mainly as most have weak cyber security infrastructure in place due to a lack of awareness of the risks involved and budget constraints. Cyber attackers choose the healthcare sector as they store a large amount of sensitive data, including patient information, medical records, and financial information. This information can be valuable to cyber criminals who can sell it on the dark web or use it to commit identity theft.
Hospitals and healthcare providers are vulnerable to a range of cyber-attacks, but some of the most commonly reported types of attacks include:
There are several common mistakes that hospitals make which can make them vulnerable to cyber-attacks:
Professional Advice for Hospitals to Act
In a panel discussion recently on cyber security solutions that a mid-size hospital should immediately deploy for securing their networks, Mr. Sourish Dey from Trisim Global Solutions which is a Kolkata headquartered Cyber Security solutions provider suggested that “ Hospital CISOs are implementing or upgrading two important tools. First is Network Management Software or NMS for complete visibility of the network and bandwidth and also for log management and patch management. Next is Security Information and Event Management Software or SIEM for collecting, analyzing, and correlating security-related data to detect and respond to security threats quickly. Both NMS and SIEM is essential for compliance to government guidelines and best practices. Along with that, we are advising hospitals to immediately move from legacy signature-based anti-virus for their workstations and servers to Next Generation and End-point security solutions that use a variety of techniques, including behaviour-based detection, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, to identify and stop threats in real-time and not just scan for known threats.”
Mr. Alok Tripathi, an independent cyber security professional added that “Large hospital chains now have dedicated CISOs, but standalone hospitals are not yet ready to accept the reality that cyber security is essential for their survival and qualified CISOs are must-have. Lot of unpatched systems including medical devices running legacy software make the IT network vulnerable. There is hardly any cyber security awareness among the staff. I have a message for them. At least, get the basics in place. Take professional help to create a Cyber Security Policy. Go for an NMS with capabilities for patch management and asset management. Put access privileges and network segmentation in place. Get proper anti-virus and end-point security. Update the firewalls. And most importantly, go for regular Cyber Security audits.”
Regulatory requirements for data protection and cyber security
One of the primary laws related to data protection in India is the Information Technology (IT) Act, which was enacted in 2000 and amended in 2008. The act includes provisions related to the protection of personal information and the prevention of unauthorized access to computer systems. However, India is yet to enact a specific law for the healthcare sector in line with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which is a US federal law that sets standards for the protection of patients' electronic health information and applies to covered entities such as healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. The Indian version of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is currently under review. The GDPR regulation established by the European Union (EU) applies to any organization that processes the personal data of EU residents, including healthcare organizations.
Mr. Dey and Mr. Triptathi shared some statistics and upcoming regulatory requirements which should get hospitals to action immediately. The healthcare industry in India faced more than 19 Lac cyber-attacks last year, as per a report by CyberPeace Foundation. Currently, all organizations are required to report cyber security incidents to CERT-In. Soon, there will be mandatory reporting of and strict penalties for data breaches under the digital data protection bill, which is being formulated by the Ministry of Electronics and information technology. Mr. Dey summarized “the Government is taking steps towards implementing the Personal Data Protection Bill and the proposed Digital Information Security in Healthcare Act (DISHA). Similar to HIPAA in the United States, DISHA will enforce the implementation of more robust data security measures. Although this may require additional investments, it is crucial to safeguard personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). The significance of protecting such sensitive data cannot be overstated and the ball in the court of hospital administrators to act right now.”
The head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, issued a stern warning that the world must get ready for the next pandemic, which might be "even deadlier" than the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when COVID cases are somewhat stabilising around the world.
"The end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of COVID-19 as a global health threat," Mr Tedros said.
"The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains, and the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains."
Acting on the complaints, authorities swiftly acted after a Chennai-based pharmaceutical company was flagged by US authorities for fatal contamination in a line of eye drops, Tamil Nadu's Drug Controller and members from the Central Drug Control Authority conducted a late night inspection of Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited.
The pharma company, located about 40 km south of Chennai, had voluntarily recalled its artificial tears lubricant eye drops from the US market after the country's health protection agency said they could be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria that have been linked to 55 adverse events, including permanent vision loss and one death from a bloodstream infection.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh launched Bharat Biotech's nasal Covid vaccine, iNCOVACC, on the occasion of Republic Day today. The world's first made-in-India intranasal vaccine was launched at Mandaviya's residence here.
The nasal vaccine -- BBV154 -- had received the Drugs Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval in November for restricted emergency use among adults as a heterologous booster dose.
According to a statement issued by Bharat Biotech earlier, 'iNCOVACC' is priced at Rs 800 for private markets and at Rs 325 for supplies to the government of India and state governments
INCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilised spike protein. This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phase I, II and III clinical trials with successful results, the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker had said.
Clinical trials were conducted to evaluate iNCOVACC as a primary dose schedule and as a heterologous booster dose for subjects who have previously received two doses of either Covishield or Covaxin.
Indian Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech's intranasal vaccine for Covid-19, the first in the world, is scheduled to be introduced in the country as a booster dose shortly. The vaccine, iNCOVACC (BBV154), is now available on CoWin, and priced at Rs 800 for private markets and Rs 325 for supplies to the Centre and state governments, the Hyderabad-based company said.
Recently, Bharat Biotech received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) for the use of heterologous booster doses of iNCOVACC. It is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion-stabilised SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
This intranasal vaccine candidate was evaluated in phases I, II III clinical trials with successful results, the company said. iNCOVACC has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops. The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries, it added.
Digital influence and technological intervention are breaking barriers in the Indian healthcare industry, leading to a dynamic transformation. While the telemedicine sector witnessed a 30 per cent spike during the pandemic, the online consultation market is projected to grow at 72 per cent CAGR to reach over 800 million dollars by FY2024, as per the report by Praxis Global Alliance.
Artificial intelligence is geared up to dominate the Indian healthcare industry by increasing the market value from $1.1 billion to $5 billion at a 39 per cent CAGR. Tech trends like nanomedicine, virtual and augmented reality and robot-assisted surgery are also acquiring large space in the Indian healthcare industry.
While adopting disruptive technologies, the Indian healthcare industry is evolving from improved accessibility and affordability to quality of life in the rural areas, as well, through technological advancements. In India, the doctor-patient ratio is 1:1456 compared to the standard ratio of 1:1000 as per the WHO. Since the doctor-patient ratio in India lacks the standard WHO ratio, digital healthcare becomes more imperative in remote rural areas where doctors can reach via technology.
Artificial intelligence is the game changer in the global healthcare industry. Currently, the global market of AI stands at $15 billion and is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 37 per cent by 2030. The high-focus areas of AI in Indian healthcare are triaging, detection and diagnostics. AI plays a vital role in identifying the underlying causes of diseases and managing their treatment plans. The government of India is also proactively boosting several initiatives, policies and schemes like National eHealth Authority (2015), the Biotechnology Ignition Grant Scheme (2012, Health Data Privacy & Security Act (2016).
A few decades back, consulting doctors via video conference must have looked like a far-off dream. Virtual healthcare has become the potential tech health segment in India and is targeting to reach $5.4 billion at a CAGR of 31 per cent.
Nanomedicine is another emerging tech-enabled trend that uses nanotechnology for highly-specific medical interventions for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases effectively. The global nanomedicine market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.2 per cent by 2030.
Nanomedicines refer to a more diminutive and accurate delivery system that allows doctors to deliver chemotherapy directly to targeted tumours instead of poisoning an entire body. They slowly release medicine from a single nanoparticle, reducing the frequency of drug injections. Robot-assisted surgeries are the new-edge technology enabling doctors and specialists to perform delicate procedures and complex surgeries more accurately. The surgical tools consist of a camera and mechanical arms, controlled by a surgeon through a computer system, giving them a high-definition (HD) and magnified view of the surgical site. The advantages of this most commonly used system include enhanced precision, flexibility and control, less pain and blood loss and quicker recovery. Since it is minimally invasive, it results in fewer scars and complications than conventional surgeries. Virtual reality in healthcare caters to a broad spectrum of healthcare services. VR technology provides simulators that help healthcare professionals to practice surgeries and procedures in virtual reality, enhancing the quality of operations in real situations. It is also instrumental in physical and mental health treatments. While immersing in the virtual world lowers pain and anxiety, it also helps tackle traumatic experiences by recreating the situation.
Technology facilitates real-time diagnosis, improves the chances of successful treatments, lowers healthcare costs and reduces hospital stays. The growing potential of technology in healthcare indicates that Indian health infrastructure will be fortified.
(Rajib Banerjee:The author is Founder & CEO MasMedi)
Among ancient India’s biggest gifts to the world, we must embrace it emphatically first
Union Minister of State for Tourism Shripad Naik has rightly advocated the need for giving benefits of ‘Ayurveda’ to the world. The 9th World Ayurveda Congress is being organised by the World Ayurveda Foundation with support of the Union Ministry of AYUSH and Government of Goa. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the valedictory session on December 11. “It (Ayurveda) is not just medicine, it’s our tradition. We need to give benefits of it to the world,” he said. “Ayurveda has been facilitated by the setting up of a separate Ministry of AYUSH, credit of which goes to Modi” Naik added. He also said that the Modi government took Yoga to the world. And that is perhaps where he was off the mark. Indeed the AYUSH ministry was formed to give fillip to the alternative medicines especially Ayurveda but has it achieved its objective is rather questionable. More than 5,000 delegates and 200 delegates from 30 countries are attending the congress. Though conclaves like this do help, the minister and the government at large should understand that it takes more than just words to make a system popular. Equating it to Yoga would be wrong as Yoga was already popular in the west and the credit for that certainly does not go to the government.
The Ministry of AYUSH is responsible for developing education, research and propagation of traditional medicine systems in India. The Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) was made into a ministry by the Modi Government in 2014. But in its eight years there is hardly anything that AYUSH can be proud of. It started with much fanfare but has delivered nothing. It promised 100 AYUSH hospitals across the country were proposed, an Institute of Naturopathy in Pune at the cost of Rs 1,000 crore and posting 4,000 AYUSH practitioners across the country. Perhaps the AYUSH ministry can throw some light on the progress made. Somewhere the ministry lost its sense of direction and got embroiled in unnecessary controversies with its advisories which were not backed by scientific research. It failed to provide an infrastructure for alternative medicine and create awareness about the alternative medicines. The minister would do well to come up with a viable plan to provide facilities for the alternative medicines. Before that happens it would be just lip service to a great cause by the union ministers, nothing more.
'Miracles of Face Yoga' book written by Mansi Gulati Appreciated by President of India Smt Droupadi Murmu ji at Rashtrapati Bhavan Delhi
President Madame appreciated the work by saying that Face Yoga’ has come out at an appropriate time when the world is anxiously looking up for solutions to improve immunity and evolve a holistic lifestyle. The book ‘Face Yoga’ is a comprehensive work on face yoga written in lucid simple language which can be easily understood by beginners and practitioners alike. Photographs and illustrations have further enhanced comprehension, assimilation, and understanding of the book by the reader.
Most of us are aware of the concept of gut health and understand its importance to our overall wellbeing, but what exactly does having a healthy gut mean? Our gut is home to millions of microorganisms, with about 1,000 distinct species, including various types of viruses, bacteria, yeast and other fungal bodies. Some of these microorganisms are harmful to our health and the others are very beneficial and important for a healthy body. Studies on people who have lived to be 100 years old in Blue Zones around the world have also shown that the structure and function of the gut microbiome determine whether or not a person will live to be 100 years old in good health. These people also appear to have high populations of good bacteria.
A healthy gut is said to be when there is a good balance between the good as well as the bad bacteria and viruses. In other words, if your gut health is poor, your immune system, hormones, and general health will suffer as a result. Some of the research has also indicated that having a variety of bacteria in your gut may lower the risk of diseases, including psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.
According to studies, the secret to healthy aging may lie in maintaining a healthy gut. Everything starts with our gut. It facilitates the breakdown of the food we eat, takes in nutrients, and utilizes them to energize and sustain our body. It is, therefore, more difficult to maintain good health and healthy aging if our gut is out of balance and our immune system isn’t functioning properly. Our body eliminates metabolic waste and pollutants in our gut.
However, our body will find it difficult to eliminate those toxins if we have a poor digestive system. People, therefore, encounter symptoms, including brain fog, constipation, joint discomfort, etc. Some of the tips to improve gut health and boost immunity and aging recommend consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes (fruits and vegetables are the best sources of nourishment for a healthy microbiome since they are high in fiber). Fiber may be broken down by certain bacteria in our stomach, which encourages the growth of those bacteria. Legumes and beans both contain a lot of fiber.
Bifidobacteria, for instance, are beneficial bacteria because they may lessen intestinal inflammation and enhance gut health. It has been proven that eating foods including apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds, and pistachios increases a person’s Bifidobacteria levels.
The majority of the bacteria in our guts have a symbiotic connection with our bodies, which means that both of our systems contribute to the health and growth of these microorganisms as well as their support of bodily functions. They generate vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids that are necessary for a variety of processes, including immune system health, digestion, mood management, and more. Exercise on a regular basis quickens the process, increasing the variety of microbial species in the stomach and promoting the growth of bacteria.
Microbiome may also be badly impacted by excessive drinking. Recurrent alcohol consumption is connected to gastritis, an inflammation of the gut that causes discomfort. Heartburn, ongoing pain, ulcers, and bacterial infections can all result from such inflammation. Additionally, excessive drinking is linked to intestinal inflammation, which is an indication of a bad gut. According to research, this form of inflammation can upset the microbiota’s balance and change how well it functions.
Probiotics may improve or prevent gut inflammation as well as other intestinal or systemic disease phenotypes by reestablishing the balance of the gut microbiome and introducing beneficial functionalities to gut microbiome. Probiotics may be very useful for elderly people, notably in terms of infection prevention and potentially also in the prevention of a number of age-related disorders.
It is important to make sure that the body has adequate levels of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and even microorganisms to make sure we perform and function at our peak. Different supplements like Glutathione, Magnesium complex, NAD+ booster, Alpha KetoGlutarate, Probiotics, Colostrum and Omegas constantly help our body manage this network of metabolism and make sure that no processes in our body are short-circuited because of lack of an important molecule.
Modern diets are heavy in fatty, salty, or sugary processed foods, which may impair the aging gut, whereas higher fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans, and nuts, together with regular exercise, may assist maintain a healthy gut microbial balance as we age. As a result, it may serve as a warning sign for a variety of chronic illnesses.
(The author is Chief Scientific Officer, Decode Age)
The Roe vs. Wade decision, which declared abortion to be a constitutional right, was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States by a 6-3 decision. With its most recent ruling, the pro-life vs. pro-choice argument has been brought up not just in the United States but also across the globe. Joe Biden, the president of the United States, has also publicly denounced the Supreme Court's decision. Now, some could argue that Joe Biden's comments were just a little bit motivated by politics. as Donald Trump appointed the Supreme Court justices who made the decision. However, the folks' rage is genuine.
History of Abortion Rights in the US
Abortion-related social and legal regulations may be traced back to the colonial era. Before "quickening," or the time when a pregnant woman feels the foetus move, usually at about four or five months, abortion was permitted in the British colonies. State laws banning abortion did not first arise until the 1820s, and the earliest versions of these laws were unclear and not properly implemented. In order to stop the selling of chemical mixtures intended to cause abortions, several regulations were created as poison control measures. Slaves were under the control of their masters, who often desired their subjugated captives to reproduce as many children as possible. As a result, the history of abortion regulation is entwined with racism. Black women and other women of color still today.
Despite the movement's opposition to abortion, the demand for birth control was regarded as a challenge to male domination, and efforts to regulate and limit women to the traditional childbearing role included banning abortion. Additionally, it was a method for males in the newly formed medical profession to usurp midwives, whom they detested for executing abortions and taking over the very lucrative industry of birthing. Attacks against the right to an abortion were also motivated by racism and white supremacy. The eugenics movement fueled worries about the disappearance of the white identity. Attempts to outlaw abortion were driven in the late 1800s by rising immigration, particularly that of Catholic immigrants, and the dropping birthrate among white Protestant women born in the United States. Black midwives were frequently the object of specific censure from White doctors.
Roe vs. Wade: A landmark judgment
In its historic Roe vs. Wade ruling on January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court declared all current criminal abortion prohibitions unconstitutional. According to the Court, every individual has a basic "right to privacy" that is "based on the concept of personal liberty" as stated in the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court evaluated the right to privacy of a pregnant person against the interests of the state in promoting mother health and foetal survival. The Supreme Court ruled that the decision to have an abortion must be made by the person who is pregnant during the first trimester, in consultation with their doctor; that the state may regulate abortion in the second trimester in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health; and that the state may regulate or prohibit abortion in the third trimester, except where necessary to preserve the person's life or health.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
The United States Supreme Court eliminated constitutional safeguards for the right to an abortion on June 24, 2022. The landmark decisions in Roe vs. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1986) were reversed by the wide ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (1992). A basic constitutional privilege was curtailed for the first time in Supreme Court and American history.
History of Abortion Rights in India. Abortion was not permitted in India until 1971; in fact, it was illegal under section 312 of the IPC. However, the Indian Constitution gave women the right to an abortion in 1971.
MTP Act: Medical Termination of Pregnancy (1971)
The Shah Committee, which was established by the Indian government in 1964, carried out research on the sociocultural, medical, and legal aspects of abortion. The group advocated for legalising abortion and cited several field research. The Constitution was amended to incorporate the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in 1971. It implied that women up to 20 weeks of pregnancy had the right to an abortion under the following circumstances:
1. If the pregnancy offers a serious risk to the woman's life and is likely to harm her physically and mentally.
2. If the unborn child would be physically or intellectually disadvantaged or pose a threat to their lives.
3. If a rape led to the pregnancy.
4. If a failed method of birth control leads to pregnancy.
A few cases of abortions performed after 20 weeks have also requested Supreme Court approval. The highest court has this authority under Article 142.
MTP Amendment Act (2021)
In March 2020, the MTP Amendment Bill was approved by both Houses of Parliament. One of the final laws approved before the lockdown was enacted was this one. This act is an improved and liberalised version of the prior act, which it embodied in its core.
It raised the threshold for pregnant women to have an abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. This law also permitted unmarried women to end a pregnancy if contraception had failed. Women now have the privilege of having their own privacy. Only the designated individual may get information on abortion from the medical institute. This new law extends more protection to rape survivors, incest victims, people with disabilities, juveniles, etc. Prior to this change, a licenced medical professional may terminate a foetus for up to twelve weeks. Additionally, the advice of two doctors was required for periods of time longer than 12 weeks and less than 20 weeks. One doctor is now required for abortions performed within 20 weeks and two physicians are required for those performed between 20 and 24 weeks. A medical board is responsible for making the decision if any woman requests an abortion post 24 weeks by evaluating the seriousness of the necessity.
Lacunae in MTP laws
The absence of formal policy on appropriate clinical practice and research is a significant flaw in Indian abortion legislation. Published national technical requirements fall short of ensuring excellent clinical practice even at institutions that perform legal abortions and do not follow WHO's worldwide recommendations. As a result, 8–15% of reported abortion clinics continue to employ general anesthesia, and 39–79% of physicians continue to perform sharp curettage. Simply put, India has not been able to find a mechanism to guarantee the use of enhanced and safer abortion techniques brought about by research and continually advancing reproductive technology.
Similar to much of India's health care, abortion treatment is still not given enough attention, particularly in the public sector. A lack of effective law (or its inability to be implemented) combined with subpar treatment and a weak work ethic in the public health care sector has led to an unchecked expansion of the private sector's services, many of which are exploitative in character. Despite the fact that India's abortion policy and legislation are progressive, erroneous and unneeded practices frequently make it difficult for these policies and laws to really increase access to safe abortion treatment.
The bill gives state governments the authority to control abortion providers. Despite the fact that states have modified these laws and regulations, there are differences in how they are interpreted and applied.
The way ahead
Despite not being particularly innovative, recent legislation and policy changes nonetheless mark a positive development in the fight to protect women's access to safe abortion treatment. Goals and objectives from the Action Plan of India's National Population Policy, 2000 that might be used:
1. Expanding access to the availability of safe abortion services.
2. Establishing additional facilities and professionals with the necessary qualifications, particularly in remote regions.
3. The decoupling of clinic and provider accreditation.
4. The tying of policy to technology, research, and excellent clinical practice.
5. The use of uniform standards in both the public and commercial sectors.
These policies require political will and commitment in the form of proper financial allocation, training, and infrastructural support, together with social inputs based on women's needs, in order to be implemented effectively. The National Population Policy, 2000's operational methods for abortion must be implemented through advocacy and legislation at the federal and state levels.
(Rushil Gupta writes articles on contemporary topics)