Widespread protests met the state government’s decision turn over the control of Primary Health Care Centers to private bodies under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Under the proposed model, private bodies will be responsible for the functioning of the PHC, including the appointment of staff members. The Government will provide financial backing, and will supervise the workings.
The Government makes this transition in a bid to improve the functioning and efficiency of the PHC’s, which form the basis of the community healthcare program in India. However, for the varied medical professionals involved in the functioning of the centre, this would mean a significant reduction in the number of government jobs, and the attached benefits.
Various lobbies including nurses, laboratory technicians and pharmacists went on strike on Monday. Many social organizations supported them in demanding an immediate repeal of the decision. The strike unfortunately turned violent, and the police ended up performing lathi charge to disperse the 500 people strong group of protesters.