For universal access to healthcare (The
Mains Paper 2: Health
Prelims level : Ayushman Bharat scheme
Mains level : Accessibility of Universal health coverage
- Most middle-class taxpayers in private jobs are stuck between the devil
and the deep sea when it comes to accessing quality, and yet affordable,
- Their faith in government hospitals is eroding, and dependence on
expensive private hospitals is increasing.
Coverage of Ayushman Bharat scheme:
- The government claims to cover 50 crore poor people under the cashless
health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat, officials say a much lesser
population is being tracked in urban areas because of lack of proper
addresses in the Socio-Economic Caste Census.
- The rest of the population, except government employees, are bereft of
any government sponsored health cover or subsidy.
Challenges for achieving Universal Health Coverage:
- In 1948, the World Health Organisation had enshrined ‘Universal Health
Coverage’ — which means quality health services provided at affordable costs
— as a fundamental right of each citizen.
- Seventy-two years have passed without that becoming a reality in India,
even as the country acceded to this in 1979 and hence making it obligatory
to progress towards the goal.
- To expand the health net, the government will also have to increase its
healthcare budget, which is currently around 1.5 per cent of GDP.
- As per the government’s own reckoning, the budget has to be scaled up by
26 per cent year-on-year to achieve a target of 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025.
- As the government aims at ushering in universal health coverage, it has
not charted a way forward yet.
- The biggest hurdle to universalising access to health is improving and
regulating the quality of care.
- In the event of non-upgradation, taxpayers may have to pay up but not
get care in their choice of hospital.
- This apart, doctors themselves are the biggest roadblock, as they oppose
implementation of The Clinical Establishments Act, which aims at regulating
the quality of care.
- While funds for schemes can gradually be figured out, improving and
regulating the quality of care is a bigger issue.
- Without addressing this, talking about access to healthcare is futile.
Q.1) With reference to the infant mortality rate (IMR), consider the
1. The infant mortality rate (IMR) in the country currently stands at 53 per
1,000 live births.
2. According to the National Family Health Survey-4, only 78.9% births in India
happen in a facility.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.1)To achieving the Universal Health Coverage, India must first improve
and regulate the quality of care. Elucidate the statement.