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Universal Health Coverage in India

Health plays a significant role in a human being. Health is a predicament of whole mental, physical, and social welfare (Tamashiro, 2021 p. 335). It can be either good health or bad health. Good health is fundamental to human contentment and well-being that commits significantly to fortune and economic growth. There are various types of health; physical, mental, sexual, spiritual, and social health. Physical health indicates an individual’s physical activity level, diet and, consumption of drugs. Mental health is associated with psychological and emotional well-being, and mental illness can be depression and bipolar. Social health is the comprehensive welfare of an individual. Sexual health is a condition of broad mental, physical, and social well-being regarding reproductive systems (Gruskin et al., 2019 p.29). According to Ghaderi et al. (2018 p.11), spiritual health is about the association with self, others, the environment and God. All these relate to each other in various ways. Good health is considered with the integration of the different types of health. Universal health care covers social structures that deliver medical and nonmedical amenities and infrastructure vital to supporting public health (Bloom, and Subbaraman, 2018, p. 361). The essay will discuss appropriate ways that India can accelerate their progress towards achieving Universal health coverage.

India has a mixed health care system of both private and public sectors. The Health Department is headed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It is accountable for the operation of different programs happening on a regional scale in the sections of health and family well-being, hindrance and control of primary infectious diseases, and elevation of traditional and indigenous structures of medicines and creating principles and strategies. The health and family welfare ministry also offers technical assistance to the citizens besides controlling seasonal outbreaks of diseases.

Challenges of the health system of India

High disease prevalence is a problem for average income-family due to the cost. The most common diseases in India are cancer, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular and lung diseases. Although there are medical insurances, most Indians don’t have them. According to research Prabhakaran et al. (2018 p 1342), cardiovascular diseases contributed 28·1% of the overall mortality and 14·1% of the total Disability Adjusted Life Years in India in 2016, associated with 15·2% and 6·9%, respectively, in 1990. These diseases adversely impact the health sector due to high expenditures and mortality rates.

An unregulated and fragmented health care delivery system is a challenge. It leads to poor execution of services, therefore negatively impacting the citizens. Inefficient allocation of resources due to fragmented system affects both the health care and patients. For instance, the recent pandemic has intensified the tension on human resources for well-being in various unexpected habits (Mukherjee and Parashar 2020). Also, lack of coordination among the health workers causes the poor implementation of health care services. Patients in critical conditions can die regarding the high prevalence of diseases before attention by health practitioners. Generally, an unregulated and fragmented health care delivery system affects the cost, quality and outcomes.

Inadequate finances significantly affect the health sector in India. It limits the provision of reliable services to the patients. According to Chisholm et al.(2019), the most challenges recognized for viable mental health financing entail the low level of funding permitted to mental health services, while chances exist in the formula of new political awareness in mental health and constant changes in national insurance schemes. Also, the quality of services is low due to insufficient resources. For instance, common diseases such as cancer require high expenditures to cure. Inadequate finances can increase mortality rates due to inadequate resources and poor services.

Gender inequality is among the central issue in India. Various factors are contributing to this issue. Generally, gender is regularly ignored in health structures, although health systems are not gendered impartial. (Morgan et. Al 2018, p.1) Due to high poverty levels, women are less empowered and do housework. Lack of employment causes more women to stay at home. During the COVID 19 pandemic, there is evidence of current gender inequality in the labour force with disturbing results (Grisold et al., 2021). Age leads to gender inequality since younger people are oppressed. Also, the social and cultural aspect contributes to gender inequality because women are marginalized and persecuted while men hold high positions. Lack of freedom and space in society leads to gender inequalities and vulnerability.

The non-availability of adequate skilled human resources is a challenge. Skills are very critical in the health system sector. The human resource sector is responsible for ensuring the execution of high-quality services. Also, they employ health workers and solve conflicts in workplaces. Unskilled human resources will negatively impact the health system through; lack of recognition of the employees, inadequate training and employee conflict. Skilled human resource officers play a significant part in the health care structure in ensuring efficiency and progression.

The health sector of India lacks inter-sectorial coordination. Coordination is critical in performing various duties. A lack of coordination in the inter-sectorial sector leads to poor quality services and poor allocation of resources. Also, it causes a lack of partnership and collaboration with other health systems.

Covering these challenges is significant in ensuring universal health coverage is achieved in India. Following Hogan et al. (2018), accomplishing universal health coverage, with quality critical service coverage and financial defence for every individual, is goal 3.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It has been suggested as a plan to advance health in low-income and middle-income countries (Kruk et al., 2018 p 2203). Critical to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) is a proper monitoring instrument to evaluate advancement. Most countries have adopted the system to ensure quality health care services.

India can accelerate their progress towards achieving universal health care in the following ways:

There is a need to access quality hospitals and health care facilities. Most citizens in rural areas lack access to these services. The government can expand and ensure all citizens have access to quality health care facilities. Inadequate health structures cause discomfort and health issues for these workers and the patients (Bianchi et al. 2019, p 7). Access to these services will raise the patient’s outcome. Besides, it ensures services are dependable, cost-effective and constant healthcare procedures. Safe environmental situations and the accessibility of average provision matters are significant to advancing patients health in health care facilities (Cronk and Bartram, 2018 p. 409). Early detection of the diseases, especially in rural areas, is easy through high-quality health care facilities, and patients will be treated immediately. The high mortality rates will reduce the nation’s high productivity and economic growth.

The government should invest more in health care services through funding both private and public sectors. The average income individuals should also access remote services. Government funding increases efficiency and advancement in health facilities. The health and family welfare ministry can have emergency funds to deplete resources with a high population.

The ministry of health and family welfare must ensure there is inter-sectoral coordination. It will help in partnership and better health care services. According to research, AlKhaldi, (2018 p15), it is necessary to create a dominant governance coordination body that helps the human research system. Lack of inter-sectoral coordination is a challenge in India. The government can be setting programs to ensure different health facilities interact. Also, they can plan forums for the back benching of health care workers to other regions. It will help improve the services and face the challenges without much difficulty. Also, the acquisition of resources is through partnerships. Strong relationships are built through inter-sectoral coordination leading to a peaceful society. Also, health facilities can receive donations from each other. With the advancement in technology, innovations can be done by health practitioners. Health care systems can be modified to patient’s outcomes, especially for chronic diseases.

The department must ensure the government plans for financial support, especially for health centres curing chronic diseases. Chronic diseases require high expenditure, patient care, and medicine. Due to a lack of finances, most facilities cannot treat these diseases. Also, specialists are needed to treat chronic diseases, and they need high payments for their services. Individuals from low income are unable to access the services. Therefore, more resources in treating chronic illness will prevent mortalities in the community.

The government should ensure the low-income citizens and average have medical insurance covers for both tertiary and secondary care. Lack of access to medical facilities due to the economic status is a major challenge. Provision of information is vital to health workers dealing with diabetes in low-income families (Manne-Goehler et al., 2018). Universal health coverage can be achieved if health care services are established in rural communities. Through taxes, funds can be paid for amenities for low-income citizens.

Employment should involve only skilled workers, and they can be trained annually to equip them with additional skills. The human resources officials should be able to employ skilled health workers. A clear criterion of employment should be set with policy guiding it. Unskilled health workers provide poor services in health care centres. It limits the achievement of universal health care coverage. There are various challenges in society that health workers need to solve technically.

The policymakers can be fully involved in the implementation process. The stakeholders in the policymaking process should monitor the services and execute assessments (Noto et al., 2019 p 1410). The policymakers can be fully investing in the health care systems. These policies should be a guide to the health care workers. It creates strategies that assist patients, healthcare organizations, and the healthcare system. The patient outcome is satisfactory and encouraging to the health care workers.

Women empowerment is essential to prevent gender inequality in the communities. The cultural aspect of women as marginalized and oppressed individuals require revision in addition to vulnerability (Callahan and Hébert, 2021 p 15). Gender inequality harms individuals, especially in workplaces. Freedom of speech and equity in resource sharing is essential. Women need to be given leadership positions and space to share ideas.

The government should establish research institutes. It will assist in the knowledge advancement of the health workers. Also, innovations will help during pandemics (Okeke and Ihekweazu,2021 p. 548). New techniques will be applied in the health care systems based on available data to benefit the patient and various organizations. In health care systems, delayed quality data is less important and less actionable for advancement (Austin, and Kachalia, 2020 p. 334). Research deliver meaningful reports about disease inclinations and risk issues, consequences of treatment or public health involvement, functional skills, forms of care, and health care expenses.

Achievement of universal health coverage requires integration at the individual, community and the government. India is yet to achieve, and with consideration of the above-discussed issues, they can achieve in a few years. The strengthening of health care workers is essential to attain universal health coverage (Reid et al., 2020). Provision of insurance cover to most populations in India will curb the greatest challenge of lack of access to health care facilities. The government, decision-makers and health care workers can monitor the progress annually before 2030.

Every citizen has a right to quality and affordable health care systems. The provision of these services will significantly improve the economy of India. Good health increases productivity and efficiency in workplaces. It also reduces mortality rates, especially due to chronic diseases. Skilled health workers will improve the amenities and solve the high disease prevalence in India. Research is critical in ensuring the right information is given to the patients and organizations. Achieving universal health coverage is beneficial to individuals, health care workers and the government. Therefore. Indian government should make efforts in ensuring it is advanced. Critical analysis of the challenges and provision of solutions by decision-makers and the government will accelerate the implementation of Universal health coverage.


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