Right to medicare should be a fundamental right: Omar Abdullah

Jammu, Dec 21: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday said that the right to medicare should be recognized as a fundamental right so that people are legally empowered to seek the best available medical treatment free of cost.

“While the UPA-II government has enacted pathbreaking and historic laws for declaring right to food and right to education as the basic rights for every citizen of the country, I hope the UPA-III which I believe will come to power after ensuing parliament election, will enact the necessary legislation making free medical treatment to all the citizens of the country a fundamental right,” Abdullah said while jointly inaugurating the Arogya Mela-2013 with union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at Parade Ground here.

Noting the health status of a society indicates its growth and development, he said that without ensuring full health coverage to the citizens, comprehensive and holistic development cannot be claimed.

“All sorts of developments are subservient to the development of health as such universalization of healthcare facilities in a society should essentially be of the highest degree.”

Describing Jammu and Kashmir a state of medicinal plants, the chief minister said that his government has taken various steps to harness this potential state and utilize it for both for health and economic purposes.

Stressing the value of various systems of medicine, he said that events like the Arogya Mela-2013 provide opportunity to people to know about the medicines their ancestors used to treat different diseases since centuries and asked the department of Indian systems of medicine to organize such fairs at other places in the state.

Speaking on the occasion, Azad said a new scheme namely Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram launched in July 2013 will be shortly started in Jammu and Kashmir. He said 27 crores children are targeted to be screened and treated under this scheme in the country.

IANS