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EDITORIAL
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1295-1296

Universal health coverage – Time to dismantle vertical public health programs in India


049, Crema Tower, Mahagun Mascot Crossing Republik, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Raman Kumar
President, Academy of Family Physicians of India, 049, Crema Tower, Mahagun Mascot Crossing Republik, Ghaziabad - 201 016, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_310_19

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Primary care has traditionally meant different concepts for developed and developing economies/countries. Immediately after independence, India pushed aside the recommendations of the Bhore committee, which was for implantation of comprehensive primary healthcare. Instead, we opted for the path of selective primary care modeled on vertical disease–based programs under the guidance of international development agencies. After several decades of implementing selective primary healthcare, India has now embarked upon ambitious journey of universal health coverage (UHC) with announcement of Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission. How much we resolve and how much we refer (90% vs 10% and 10% vs 90%) within primary care will determine the overall cost of the health system, be it out of pocket or publicly funded. Implementation of comprehensive primary healthcare and UHC along with existing disease focused vertical public health programs is a unique situation to India. Will the Indian economy be able to sustain the double burden of UHC and the vertical programs? Or is it indeed the time to dismantle the vertical programs and implement comprehensive primary care towards containing over all cost of the health system to the country. Continuing both may be a good bankruptcy plan.


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