The International Nurses Week celebration (6th to 12th May 2018) Nurses: A voice to lead– Health is a Human Right

Dr Y Sundary, RIMSH
Why do you want to undergo this course? The question is asked by one of the teachers from the Human Rights and Duties Education, Manipur University when I went for the course. It was a very interesting question from the team of experts when I gave my own answer I didn’t know whether they got satisfied to my answer or not. No wonder I was new to this field ( Human Rights) and I didn’t know what was all about the A B C D of human right. My zeal to undergo for the course is based on the issues happening between the health care providers and health care consumers in all the health care sectors. Many a times there is man made issues in the health care sectors, it may be from the administrative level, middle level, lower level and etc. Once I was called by the then Director Prof. Pu .L .Fimate when he was head of the Forensic Department and also the chairmen of MLC related issues in RIMS some where in the year 1996 and 1997. The team included profs. from the Medicine, Chest medicine and the Nurses. I was interrogated along with the senior faculties and there was no negligence found and took no action against me. But I felt pain though I did my best level to save the life of the patient. Such small things happen quite often in the Wards but no beatings/quarrels , damaging of hospital properties and un toward incidence happened during those days. From that time onwards I was thinking of doing some course in Human Right though it might be something strange subject to me. I was a lazy chap during my school days and did not even know the preamble of India.
Acquiring knowledge of Human Right among health care providers is very much vital today in order to build up a conducive environment in the health care sectors. Health right is fundamental right of a man. The different school of thoughts give different meanings but the overall meaning is the same. UDHR 1945 says health is basic right of a man without cast, creed and gender. According to WHO ‘’ Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing , and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity’’. It clearly saws the completeness of a man and the inter linking with all the elements of health.
The human right to health and health care;
The human right to health means that everyone has the right to highest attainable standards of physical and mental health which includes access to all medical services, sanitation, adequate food, decent housing, healthy working conditions, and a clean environment. The human right to health guarantees a system of health protection for all. Everyone has the right to the health care need, and living conditions that enable us to be healthy, such as adequate food housing and a healthy environment. Health care must be provided as a public goods for all, financed publicly and equitably.
The human right to health care means that hospitals, clinics, medicines, and services of doctors and nurses must be accessible, available, acceptable, and of good quality for everyone, on an equitable basis, where and when needed. The design of a health care system must be guided by the following key human right standards like universal access to all on equitable basis with affordably. The availability is also very important aspect like adequate health care infrastructure(hospitals, community health facilities), trained health care professionals, goods ( drugs, equipment), and quality services(primary care, mental health) must be available in all geographical areas and to all communities. Health care institutes and providers must respect dignity, provide culturally appropriate care, be responsive to needs based on gender, age, culture, language, and different ways of life and abilities.
They must respect medical and nursing ethics and protect confidentiality. Above all the health care must be medically appropriate and of good quality, guided by quality standards and control mechanisms, and provided in a timely, safe, and patient –centred manner. Not only this the, human right to health also entails the following like non-discrimination against health status, race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexuality, disability, language, religion, national origin, income, or social status. Information of health should be easily accessible for everyone, enabling people to protect active role in decisions that affect their health, including in the organization and implementation of health care services. Public and private companies must be held accountable for protecting the right to health care through enforceable standards, regulations and independent compliance monitoring their health and claim quality health services. Institutions that organize , finance or deliver health care must operate in a transparent way. The individual and communities must be able to take an active and responsible decision
The human right to health is protected in :
Article 25 of the UDHR
Article 12 of the International Covenant of Social and Cultural Rights
Article 24 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child
Article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Article 12 & 14 of the Convention on the All Forms of Discrimination of Against Women
Article 11 of the American Declaration on Rights and Duties of Man
Article 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
United Nations committees ( treaty bodies) comprised of independent experts, oversees the implementation of particular human right treaties. These committees oversees the treaties by among other things, receiving government and civil society reports on the implementation on the treaties, making comments to the government reports, and issuing general comments about the treaties or specific right contained therein. With regard to the human right to health, in the year 2000 the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights issued legal guidance for implementation of this right.
The theme of the International Nurses Week Celebration 2018 is NURSE: A VOICE TO LEAD HEALTH IS A HUMAN RIGHT. Nurses are the vital organ in the health care sector in all the level either it may be in the institute or communities. In order to meet the daily health challenges these Nurses need to be equipped with new technological skills and knowledges. That is why the nursing profession is marching towards the evidence based practice. Such breezing the gaps between the theory and practice would help to inculcate scientific approaches in the patient care services.
How far Nurses would be able to meet the demand of the patient care in the health sector . The Nursing care is some thing that can not be kept in record because the care provided by the Nurse is beyond the horizon . But my request is towards the Nurses who took pledge of Florence Nightingale, the founder of Modern Nursing profession, working in the hospital, communities and those teachers moulding these young Nurses in the class rooms and skilled labs. Those teachers need to mould these young ones in such a way that they would become an efficient , skilled with knowledge , addressing patients needs and maintaining a sound and viable patient care oriented. The right and duties of a Nurse should be taught from the class room and how do they perform their duty in the clinical areas in respect to the patients rights and responsibilities. There is need of dedicated Nursing Teachers who could help the student like angle of health care provider. There should not be any coast of compromising in the field of Nursing professional while it may be in the class rooms, giving recognition to establishment of a new Nursing schools, colleges , recruitment and etc in the future in other to bring out the best Nurse out of the best. Such trained young Nurses would never compromise while providing care to the needy what may be the situation and condition.
(To be contd)

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