Magnifying Universal Health Coverage in India: Focus on financing health, accelerating primary healthcare

The two-day event discussed health financing, health service delivery and primary health care.

Universal Health Coverage ( UNC)
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Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and technical support from the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office for India unanimously organised an advocacy event to work on the key approaches and strategies for accelerating Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for the country.

12th December is celebrated as UHC day since 2014 to commemorate the WHO's solid stone resolution in 2012. This is a priority area for World Health Organisation. The key aim of the consultation is to advocate awareness for India to increase access to quality healthcare services at affordable cost.

The two-day event discussed health financing, health service delivery and primary health care. The focus was also given to accelerating multiple processes towards Universal Health Coverage agenda in India. it was also decided that they would also promote the proposal of the National Health Policy 2017 and the major international health benefits in this area.

"Increasing the public health spending to 2% of the GDP over the next four to five years will certainly make the health sector more responsive," said B.P Sharma, Secretary, and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

"We need to have a clear vision where India wants to be in 15 years and develop roadmap, including step-by-step process to get there. This will require an agreed upon process in consultation with all stakeholders with a key role for the state governments," he added.

Other key issues discussed included international experience and learning in the Universal Health Coverage and policy steps that are needed to advance UNC in India. They also focused on health financing and service provision scenario in the country.

More than 80 technical supports, both national and international, including senior representatives of the MoHFW and the World Bank, attended the consultation.