COVID care: not just about medicines, but also about rights

Helpdesk activist visits ward and informs patients about services, Akole Rural Hospital Ahmednagar

One of the causes of panic during the pandemic is the skyrocketing cost of health care. Many families are finding themselves losing their savings at this time. There is fear that they may be denied care due to their inability to pay large fees (including bribes). In the prevailing climate of disinformation and chaos, it is very difficult for patients to demand their rights.

A few months ago AID campaigned for rate regulation in private hospitals as well as patients’ right to care. Both these issues have become critical of late. Here is an example of a helpdesk volunteer explaining these rights to the patient’s kin. While this work is not generally given attention, it helps to see that families desperate to receive healthcare do not suffer economic ruin instead.

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