The journey of SATHI from a project to a well staffed organization…..
The SATHI team began its work in 1998 as a part of CEHAT. In the initial phase it worked with People’s Organisations in three remote areas of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, conducting Arogya Sathi trainings, developing high quality awareness and training material, and establishing right to health care as an important dimension of work. SATHI team also emerged as a resource team at the national level for the Primary Health Care movement through its participation in the People’s Health Assembly process in 2000.
In the SATHI Phase I Project (2002 to 2004), this work was further consolidated, aiming for long term sustainability, and expanding to advocacy initiatives. The advocacy initiatives ranged from local level to state and national levels. SATHI hosted the National Secretariat for the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan from November 2005 to March 2008 and team members played a key role in the national right to healthcare campaign of JSA.
'SATHI phase II project' from April 05 to June 07 was geared towards enhancing capacities of Community Based Organisations to take up health rights action, as well as state level monitoring of health services,within the context of the campaign for health rights launched by Jan Swasthya Abhiyan. Apart from this a research project "Maharashtra Health Equity and Rights Watch" was undertaken to document existing inequities in access to health care with special focus on caste, tribe, class, gender rural-urban and regional disparities, identify key process indicators responsible for the disparities and widely disseminate the findings for appropriate advocacy.
SATHI Phase III Project from July 2007 to March 2010 has been aimed at contributing to the strengthening of the Public Health Services and Regulation of Private Health Services so that they together become a part of a National Health Care System, which would ensure universal access to Health Care for all irrespective of the ability to pay at the point of service. While being actively involved in the implementation of community monitoring framework in Maharashtra, SATHI concentrated efforts on patients’ rights, especially within the context of the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act.
During SATHI Phase IV Project from April 2010 onwards SATHI's work continued in a similar direction. SATHI has been functioning as the state nodal NGO for Maharashtra in the Community Based Monitoring and Planning (CBMP) process, initiated under the NRHM. It is also involved in the expansion of CBMP to ICDS services. The other focus is advocacy for patients’ rights and social accountability of private healthcare providers.
The current areas of work and the important ongoing initiatives are detailed in other sections.