Policy Matter

Universal Health Coverage

The Central Government is committed to assisting the States/UTs in the direction of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This is however to be carried out in a phased manner given the need for requisite infrastructure and adequate capacity in the states. Under the National Health Mission (NHM), support is being provided to States/UTs to strengthen their healthcare delivery system including for provision of free/affordable healthcare, free drugs and diagnostics to all those who access public health facilities. The National-Urban-Health-Missionprimary healthcare needs of urban population particularly poor and vulnerable population have also been brought under the ambit of NHM with the launch of the National Urban Health Mission as its Sub Mission.

In addition, under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) this has recently been transferred to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, cashless benefit uptoRs. 30,000 per annum per family of five for specified hospitalization procedures are available to all BPL population and eleven other categories of vulnerable population groups. As regards tertiary care, apart from 6 AIIMS which have been made operational, 9 AIIMS have been announced. Apart from this, 70 Medical Colleges/Institutions have been taken up for upgradation.

Further, approval has been given to set up 17 new Medical Colleges and upgradation of 22 District Hospitals into Medical Colleges in the last one year towards universalization of tertiary care. At present, there is no proposal to make UHC tax-funded and cashless at delivery.

Public health being a state subject, primary responsibility to provide healthcare services lies with the State Governments. However, under National Health Mission (NHM) financial and technical support is provided to the State/UT Governments for health system strengthening, including provision for medicine and diagnostics at all public health facilities and referral linkages, patient transport system, etc, based on the proposals made by them in their Programme Implementation Plans.

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