Why is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Needed in India?

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Why is universal health coverage needed in India?
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  • Why is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Needed in India?

Healthcare is one of the aspects in India that is still underdeveloped even after 75+ years of freedom. Despite the fact that more than 65 percent of Indians live in rural regions, very few medical professionals are located there. Additionally, the execution of the Government-Financed Health Insurance Schemes (GFHIS) face recurring challenges. How does the concept of Universal Health Coverage fit into this context?

What is Universal Health Coverage?

Everyone will have access to medical care they require without facing monetary difficulties thanks to universal health coverage. A UN resolution was formulated in 2012 encouraging countries to work toward granting everyone access to inexpensive, high-quality healthcare services.

With the goal of providing all people with Universal Health Coverage (UHC), India has set an ambitious goal. The nation’s leaders believe that everyone deserves access to reasonably priced healthcare.

The Planning Commission of India established a high-level expert group on UHC in October 2010 with the goal of creating a framework for offering all Indians conveniently accessible and cheap healthcare.

There is a major rural-urban imbalance, with accessibility in rural regions being much lower than in cosmopolitan ones. Urban public and private hospitals have adopted technology at a rapid rate, yet these systems are dissimilar and employ various technological systems.

Due to a lack of interoperability, patients’ health data get stuck in silos and cannot be shared with other platforms and organisations.

Benefits 

The urgent requirement is to introduce a secure, digital system to keep electronic health records (EHRs) in accordance with pre-established standards in order to guarantee high-quality data.

The availability of patients’ medical information when and when it is required would be guaranteed by this digitised, standardised platform. In the end, this would combine all of a patient’s health-related data to promote better medical choices and better-coordinated treatment.

In addition to ensuring service equality, universal health care prevents medical professionals from specifically targeting and serving wealthy patients. The result is a healthier workforce and greater life expectancy since everyone receives the same quality of treatment.

A person may live longer and in better health and there may be less social disparity if they are provided with universal health care from birth.

Challenges

In order to address the issue of health and wellbeing, the government has taken a multifaceted approach, focusing on primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare as well as preventive and health promotion. It is encouraging to observe a change that has aided in the well-rounded formulation of policies pertaining to health. Planning and implementing a new policy is not without its problems.

For execution, policies and infrastructural facilities must work together. Making sure that the Indian countryside does not suffer from a shortage of physicians is the actual difficulty. Not only are doctors in low supply, but also beds, medical supplies, and nurses. In India, the doctor-population ratio is 1: 834 and we can do arrive at a better number in the coming years. It would be a good idea to encourage medical professionals to practise in rural regions, and using technology to support preventative measures can support ongoing reformative initiatives.

Smile Foundation’s Initiatives

Smile Foundation is working on a dual strategy in the present to actively promote and provide free healthcare services: first, delivering high-quality healthcare services to the doorsteps of the underserved in rural communities and urbans slums of India; and second, increasing health-related awareness seeking behaviour among them. Consider making a small, thoughtful donation here to make quality healthcare possible for those with very limited finances marked towards healthcare.

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