India is embarking on
an ambitious target of achieving Universal Health Coverage for all
during 12th Plan period. Everybody will be entitled for comprehensive
health security in the country. It will be obligatory on the part of the
State to provide adequate food, appropriate medical care, safe drinking
water, proper sanitation, education and health-related information for
good health. The State will be responsible for ensuring and guaranteeing
UHC for its citizens.
Addressing the afternoon session of the Conference on “Responsible Use
of Medicine” at Amsterdam, Netherlands yesterday, Union Minister of
Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad said as per WHO`s World
Health Statistics 2012, almost 60% of total health expenditure in India
was paid by the common man from his own pocket in 2009. The Report
states that 39 million Indians are pushed to poverty because of ill
health every year. Around 30% in rural India did not go for any
treatment for financial constraints. About 47% and 31% of hospital
admissions in rural and urban India were financed by loans and sale of
He said India has already enacted the Clinical Establishment Act. The
Standard Treatment Guideline is part of the Clinical Establishment Act.
The Act will ensure that unnecessary drugs are not prescribed. During
nationwide polio vaccination campaign, India vaccinated 172 million
children through 2.3 million vaccinators in 202 million households in
each campaign. The polio vaccination campaigns had a strategy of booth
vaccination in earlier years but later the programme added the component
of house to house search and vaccination to reduce missed children.
Transit teams were deployed at all railway stations, bus stands, markets
and highways to vaccinate populations in movement. Special teams were
set up to administer OPV drops to the most vulnerable mobile and migrant
populations. The introduction of bivalent oral polio vaccine (BOPV) in
January 2010 was India’s innovation based on research conducted in the
country. The bivalent polio vaccine helped India to achieve its goal of
Shri Azad said the recommendations of the Consultative Expert Working
Group set up by the WHO on research and coordination highlights the fact
that very little research is happening in neglected diseases.
Intellectual Property Rights have become a barrier to access to
medicines. We need to consider the recommendations of the CEWG and
ensure that adequate financing is made available to these diseases so
that the poor and the vulnerable do not suffer from lack of proper
The goal of the afternoon session was to identify potential directions
for the future.