Universal Health Coverage Awards 2019: Dr Harsh Vardhan confers best performing States, UTs
New Delhi: Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare conferred the UHC Awards to best performing Primary Healthcare teams of States and UTs at the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day organized by the Ministry on December 12th 2019.
To mark the UHC Day 2019, the Ministry organised three policy labs for extensive brainstorming and deliberations on three themes: providing CHPC in urban areas; strengthening delivery systems; and communitisation for wellness.
Dr Harsh Vardhan congratulated the award winners and appreciated their dedication and hard work towards expanding the universal health coverage through various parts of the country. Speaking at the event, he said that as we aspire to move speedily towards UHC, we must strengthen the preventive, promotive & positive health concepts.
He also said some radical new changes and innovations need to be done to achieve health for all, and health in all. “Let us involve all Government Ministries/Departments at the Centre and States, along with the non-state actors and organisations/institutions to engage them into the health agenda in a constructive, smart and intelligent manner”. Since health is a multi-sectoral, multi-dimensional, layered, and a complex sector, we need multiple partners for achieving the agenda of ‘Health For All’, he added.
The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare (MoS Health) Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO (NHA), were present during the event who had further congratulated the awardees and thanked them for their efforts.
Choubey stated that the commitment for ‘Health For all’ is clearly seen from the address of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at the UNGA earlier this year where he highlighted four pillars for universal health care and gave the blueprint of how India plans to achieve the same. He added that people’s well being shall lead to global well being.
Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health) recalled the efforts put in by the concerned states and UTs, which made possible the progress under HWCs and PMJAY. She stated that India has taken significant steps towards UHC by means of NHP 2017, Ayushman Bharat (with HWCs & PMJAY), the NMC Act, banning of e-cigarettes, approving 22 new AIIMS, up-gradation of 157 District Hospitals as Medical Colleges, etc.
She further said that while the stage has been set for expanding UHC, we need to still address several challenges viz. expanding population, increasing & diversifying disease burden, devising different models for urban healthcare, accountability through social audits, engaging the private sector through effective partnerships etc. The three Policy Labs held today have helped us gain further clarity on the way forward, she added.
Dr. Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog stressed on the importance of health financing by the centre & states; infrastructure in terms of hospitals and number of beds/1000 population and building capacity of HR at all levels i.e. general practitioner to specialists to nurses and paramedical staff.
Besides the awards, the event also saw the release of the CPHC Booklet for AB-HWCs, a Synthesis Report of Regional Workshops on AB-HWCs, Oral Healthcare Guidelines, AB-PMJAY 2020 Calendar and launch of the revamped AB-HWC portal.
Also present at the award ceremony were, Dr. Sanjay Tyagi, DGHS, Dr. Poonam Khetarpal Singh, RD-WHO SEARO, Dr. Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative India and Smt. Vandana Gurnani, AS&MD (NHM) with the Health Secretaries and Mission Directors from the States along with other senior officers of MoHFW and representatives of CSOs, NGOs and Development Partners.
Universal Health Coverage
Universal Health Coverage aims that ‘all people have access to needed promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that people do not suffer financial hardship when paying for these services’. In December 2012, the United Nations passed a landmark resolution endorsing universal health coverage. In September 2015, the achievement of UHC was enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a key target to be reached by 2030. UHC Day, first commemorated on 12 December 2014, marks the anniversary of the landmark UN resolution. In 2017, 12 Dec was officially designated as International Universal Health Coverage Day by the United Nations. In Sept 2019, in the backdrop of United Nations General Assembly, there was a high level meeting on UHC (UNHLM), where world leaders committed to advance UHC.