India is embarking on an ambitious target of achieving Universal Health Coverage for all during 12th Plan period. Everybody will be entitled for comprehensive health security in the country. It will be obligatory on the part of the State to provide adequate food, appropriate medical care, safe drinking water, proper sanitation, education and health-related information for good health. The State will be responsible or ensuring and guaranteeing UHC for its citizens. A High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was constituted by the Planning Commission of India in October 2010, with the mandate of developing a framework for providing easily accessible and affordable health care to all Indians. While financial protection was the principal objective of this initiative, it was recognised that the delivery of UHC also requires the availability of adequate healthcare infrastructure, skilled health workforce and access to affordable drugs and technologies to ensure the entitled level and quality of care given to every citizen. Further, the design and delivery of health programmes and services call for efficient management systems as well as active engagement of empowered communities.
Reference :-1.Press Information Bureau (4th October 2012) - http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=88129 2.Press Information Bureau( 8th May 2012)- http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=83368 3.FICCI Knowledge Paper on Health Insurance Vision - http://www.ficci.com/publication-page.asp?spid=20347
Ensuring equitable access for all Indian citizens, resident in any part of the country,regardless of income level, social status, gender, caste or religion, to affordable, accountable, appropriate health services of assured quality (promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative) as well as public health services addressing the wider determinants of health delivered to individuals and populations, with the government being the guarantor and enabler, although not necessarily the only provider, of health and related services.
Ten principles have guided the formulation of UHC in India:
- Non-exclusion and non-discrimination
- Comprehensive care that is rational and of good quality
- Financial protection
- Protection of patients’ rights that guarantee appropriateness of care, patient choice, portability and continuity of care.
- Consolidated and strengthened public health provisioning
- Accountability and transparency
- Community participation
- Putting health in people’s hands.