Universal health coverage project to be implemented on a pilot basis in Mysore and Raichur districts
M. Madan Gopal, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, has said that the Union government will implement the universal health coverage project on a pilot basis in Raichur and Mysore districts.
He was here on Wednesday to participate in a preparatory workshop. “Raichur and Mysore represent two different levels of development and geographical location. The thrust of the project is to provide promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare services to citizens irrespective of their social, economic, and religious backgrounds,” Mr. Gopal said.
He said of the two approaches, “all-services-to-some” and “some-services-to-all”, the latter had been adopted for the project after much deliberation.
“When the project was taking shape, it was widely discussed as to which approach we should follow among the two: one, ensuring all healthcare services, right from a small treatment to a complex heart surgery to a limited section among the poor and vulnerable or ensuring limited and essential healthcare services to citizens regardless of their social, economic and other considerations. Finally, the second one was adopted,” Mr. Gopal said.
A health card would be issued to citizens and they could avail themselves of essential healthcare facilities anywhere in the district even in private hospitals either for free or at an affordable cost.
“There is no dearth of funds. However, the biggest challenge is how we can achieve universal health coverage in its actual sense by making sure that no citizen is denied healthcare services categorised in the essential healthcare package,” he said.
The private health sector would have to be involved in the implementation of the project as the gigantic task could not be accomplished only by the government machinery, Mr. Madan Gopal added.
“The project is first-of-its-kind in India. If it is successful, the model will be replicated elsewhere in India,” he said.
Sunil Nandaraj, who represented the Union government, elucidated the framework and envisaged the road map of the project. He said countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand and Costa Rica had implemented it successfully.
Deputy Commissioner S.N. Nagaraju, zilla panchayat chief executive officer Muddu Mohan, Pratap Gowda Patil, MLA, were present.