Medicine & Doctors · Politics · Public health

Modi’s Mom and a Chaiwallah’s Mom: The Case for Universal Health Coverage in India

This was published in the Times of India as an op-ed, on Oct 13 2016. Here is the link. Below is an extract:

“Few phrases in the public health literature capture the kind of raw agony that ‘catastrophic health expenditure’ does. I know that well, for my family is a rickshaw-walla’s family. A fractured bone is, for some citizens, an ordinary health-related accident, while for many others it is an extraordinary, debilitating financial incident. Out of the many injustices that plague the world today, this is one of the most devastating.

Several enlightened governments (as diverse as the UK and Thailand) have quite successfully tackled this injustice through what is called universal health coverage (UHC). While the Indian state has always provided some kind of ‘universal’ healthcare to its citizens through its own health centres, and recently throughshort-sighted and inefficient insurance schemes like the RSBY, it never fully implemented the two most crucial characteristics of UHC: health services should be of a sufficiently good quality, and citizens should not at any point be exposed to financial hardship.”

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