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Table of Contents
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 202

Moving forward toward the attainment of universalhealth coverage


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission17-Aug-2019
Date of Acceptance22-Aug-2019
Date of Web Publication11-Sep-2019

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/am.am_49_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Moving forward toward the attainment of universalhealth coverage. Apollo Med 2019;16:202

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Moving forward toward the attainment of universalhealth coverage. Apollo Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Sep 20];16:202. Available from: http://www.apollomedicine.org/text.asp?2019/16/3/202/266785



Dear Editor,

Universal health coverage (UHC) refers to the provision of a complete spectrum of quality assured health-care services to all the communities without subjecting them to financial adversity.[1] The attainment of the UHC is one of the crucial targets set under the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and has to be done by 2030.[2] However, it does not mean the provision of all free health-care services or that it is only restricted to health financing.[1] Another important aspect of UHC is that it focuses on both individual- and population-based services and that it emphasizes on equity and social inclusion.[1] It is quite an obvious fact that any advancement toward UHC will simultaneously aid in the accomplishment of other SDGs as well.[1],[2]

Despite the adoption of SDGs since 2015, it is quite alarming that close to 50% of the world's population lack coverage to essential health care and that millions of people are forced into extreme poverty owing to the catastrophic health expenditures.[1] Nevertheless, the good thing is that all the nations have started to make small progress toward UHC, but the need of the hour is to expedite the same.[1],[2],[3] The policy-makers are finding it difficult to meet the rising needs of the population and strengthening of the health-care delivery system, along with adequate financial support, are the crucial elements.[2],[3] At the same time, the availability of an adequate number of trained health staff will determine the delivery of quality assured integrated care.[3]

Further, the presence of strengthened primary health care continues to remain the most cost-effective way to accomplish UHC.[1] Moreover, there is a need to bring about a shift in the delivery of health care, including reorientation of health-care services, so that an appropriate balance can be attained.[2],[3] In addition, there is a significant scope to establish better governance and have a systematic mechanism to ensure the supply of drugs, logistics, and well-operational health information systems.[3],[4] To make it easy for the policy-makers to measure their progress toward UHC, indicators have been proposed, namely proportion of the population who can access essential health care and/or spend a major percentage of their income on health.[1]

In fact, the World Health Organization has also defined 16 essential health services to define the equity of coverage in nations, based on which different nations can compare their progress toward UHC.[1] In addition, implementation of other strategies such as sustained political actions, measures to eliminate stigma and discrimination in health-care settings, special focus on the vulnerable population groups, and fostering linkages with different stakeholders and sectors will also play a major role in the progress toward UHC.[1],[2],[3],[4] Moreover, the adoption of innovative approaches like conditional cash transfer is also expected to help significantly in the cause.[1],[4]

In conclusion, the attainment of UHC is the need of the hour, and there is a big-time need to strengthen health-care delivery systems, provision of equitably distributed health care, and focus on the health needs of the vulnerable population groups.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Universal Health Coverage – Fact Sheet; 2018. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/universal-health-coverage-(uhc). [Last accessed on 2019 Aug 17].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Moving towards the universal health coverage: A strategy to expedite health equity. J Med Soc 2016;30:70-1.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Universal health coverage: Necessity, monitoring, and the vision ahead. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1107-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
Tangcharoensathien V, Mills A, Das MB, Patcharanarumol W, Buntan M, Johns J. Addressing the health of vulnerable populations: Social inclusion and universal health coverage. J Glob Health 2018;8:020304.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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