India currently has around 600 million people without effective health coverage, the largest number worldwide, and 63 million people are living in poverty because of health costs.
The country is currently facing a “public health crisis” which risks impeding economic growth and makes it harder to achieve the wider Sustainable Development Goals.
The Elders’ report contains four key recommendations to achieve UHC, which means that everybody receives the health services they need without suffering financial hardship:
- Increase public financing for health to 2.5% of GDP by 2021
- Focus on reaching full population coverage and prioritising the needs of the poor and vulnerable
- Focus additional resources on primary healthcare services including vital public health services
- Guarantee universal access to free essential medicines and diagnostic services