Parliamentary panel calls for Public health Act

Recently, a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has submitted its report to the Rajya Sabha chairman and vice-president. The Parliamentary panel was headed by Anand Sharma, a senior Congress leader.

The panel in its report said that there is a need for a Public Health Act to monitor the private hospitals, and to prevent black marketing of medicines in times of pandemic.

Key Points

  • As per the panel, the public health act should have provisions that should help the government to keep a check on private hospitals.
  • The act should also be able to monitor and prevent the black marketing of medicines and product standardization.
  • As per the panel, the government should conduct awareness campaigns on effective and cheaper repurposed medicines.
  • The panel highlighted that in the starting phase of the pandemic, the medical insurance was not extended for COVID-19. The panel suggested having a regulatory framework to keep a check on hospitals refusing to accept COVID-19 insurance claims.
  • Proper consideration should be done and trials should be analyzed before giving emergency use authorization to COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The panel has also suggested forming a separate wing in National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to handle situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Recommendations by the Parliamentary Panel

The panel has expressed concerns about the impact of the pandemic on the economy and the non-implementation of many schemes. The panel has also expressed concern that as the schools have been closed during a pandemic; students have been deprived of “Mid-Day Meals”.