Recognising the importance of defining a comprehensive strategy for universal health coverage, the Planning Commission has set up a high level expert group to develop a blueprint and investment plan for meeting the human resource requirements to achieve ‘health for all' by 2020.
The 15-member high level group on universal health coverage, chaired by K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, is mandated to rework the physical and financial norms needed to ensure quality, universal reach and access to healthcare services, particularly in underserved areas and to indicate the role of private and public service providers.
“The expert group, constituted with the approval of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will also explore the role of a health insurance system that offers universal access to health services with high subsidy for the poor and a scope for building up additional levels of protection on a payment basis,” Syeda Hamid, a member of the Planning Commission, told The Hindu .
The expert group will suggest critical management reforms in order to improve efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the health delivery system, among other things.
The other members of the expert group are: Abhay Bhang (Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health), A.K. Shiva Kumar (member, National Advisory Council), Amarjeet Sinha (senior IAS officer), Anu Garg (Principal Secretary-cum-Commissioner (Health and Family Welfare department, Orissa), Gita Sen (Centre for Public Policy, IIM Bangalore), G.N. Rao (Chair of Eye Health, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad), Jashodhara Dasgupta (SAHYOG, Lucknow), Leila Caleb Varkey (Public Health researcher), Govinda Rao (Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy), Mirai Chatterjee (Director, Social Security, SEWA), Nachiket Mor (Sughavazhu Healthcare), Vinod Paul (AIIMS), Yogesh Jain (Jan Swasthya Sahyog, Bilaspur), a representative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and N.K. Sethi (Advisor (Health), Planning Commission).