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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 515-517

India in search of right Universal Health Coverage (UHC) model: The risks of implementing UHC in the absence of political demand by the citizen

1 President, Academy of Family Physicians of India; Chief Editor, Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, India
2 Chairperson, Primary Care and Public Health Policy Forum, Academy of Family Physicians of India, India

Correspondence Address:
Raman Kumar
No. 049, Crema Tower, Mahagun Mascot, Crossing Republik, Ghaziabad - 201 016, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.197252

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Amid the global push for Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the agenda is being set for India's health care. In the absence of a constitutional mandate, a national policy and citizen-led political demand for UHC, there exist specific risks in rushing toward its implementation in India. As the debate of UHC continues, the health-care delivery system in India is at cross roads. UHC in India could take two different trajectories. The first one takes India toward becoming "Global Bazaar" of morbidity and ill health, founded on the pillars of a vibrant rapidly multiplying healthcare industry. The other path takes India on a course of preventing wasteful, expensive health-care expenditure by maintaining healthy populations. A poor professional blood donor cannot become rich by selling his or her own blood beyond medically permissible levels; similarly, India cannot become a developed economy by  merely allowing exploitation of disease, illness, and morbidity of her citizen. It is the duty of the state and governments to protect individual citizen, population under consideration, as well as country's economy from wasteful and potentially harmful expenditure incurred to address ill health. In the economic sense, any sensible UHC implementation mechanism would seek to regulate wasteful preventable health-care expenditure for the purpose of future economic stability and growth of the country. Due diligence toward safeguarding "public health in public interest," during the process of UHC implementation, is the need of the hour.

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