Journal of Community Medicine & Public Health (ISSN: 2577-2228)

Review Article

A Narrative Review on Universal Health Coverage-Concepts, Policy Implications and Path Ahead for India

Vinod K Ramani1,4*, Shruthi M Shetty2, Radheshyam Naik3

1Consultant, Preventive Oncology, Healthcare Global Enterprise Ltd., KR Road, Bangalore, India

2Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sapthagiri Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Center, Hesaraghatta Road, Bangalore, India

3Group Medical Advisor, Medical Oncology, Healthcare Global Enterprise Ltd., Bangalore, India

4Associate Professor, Dept. of Public Health, FLAHS, M.S.Ramaiah Univerity of Applied Sciences, Bangalore, India.

Corresponding Author*: Vinod K Ramani, Consultant, Preventive Oncology, Healthcare Global Enterprise Ltd., KR Road, Bangalore, India; E-mail id: drvinod.r@hcgel.com

Received Date: August 03, 2021

Accepted Date: August 11, 2021

Published Date: August 16, 2021

Abstract

Introduction: UHC addresses the concept of health in all its dimensions and not merely a response to illness. The deficiencies in the healthcare system of India cannot be bridged by additional investment, increasing manpower, adoption of technology or establishing regulatory institutes.

Methods: ‘PubMed’ database and Google search engines were used for searching the relevant articles. This review includes 12 studies and other relevant literature which address the determinants of UHC and its impact on the healthcare system in India.

Body: The emphasis of UHC is on the coverage of health services and financial protection. In India, the public health sector suffers from shortfalls in management, manpower issues and poor accountability, whereas the private health sector is unregulated and contributes to the increasing health expenditure. UHC will be advantageous to the rural and urban poor including the unorganized sector workers by improving access to health care and preventing financial impoverishment. The rich class in-turn pay a higher proportion of their income towards supporting provision of healthcare, and derive benefit from this system which has predictable quality and assured outreach.

Conclusion: The concept of UHC enables health systems in adopting sustainable financing mechanisms and ensures population wide coverage with efficient delivery of a wide range of healthcare services. In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic and the need to address future pandemics, we need to build resilient health systems as well as hasten the implementation of UHC.

Keywords: Universal health coverage; Insurance coverage; Health policy; Health equity; Healthcare financing