Universal Free Health Coverage

  The Twelfth Plan strategy seeks to strengthen initiatives taken in the Eleventh Plan to expand the reach of health care and work towards the long term objective of establishing a system of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country. The Plan envisages substantial expansion and strengthening of the public health systems both in rural and urban areas, with robust provision of primary health care.      

    Several of the on-going initiatives like Reproductive and Child Health, Control of Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases, have the features of universal coverage through public health facilities for the target population, which encompass the following: 

Ø Free Maternal Health Services, which include antenatal check up including free investigations and Iron-Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation, post-natal care, safe abortion services and Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI)/ Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) services including investigations and treatment. Recent initiatives such as Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) guarantees free and no expense delivery including c-section in public health facilities, entitlements include free to and fro transport, free drugs, consumables, diagnostics, blood and diet and similar guarantees for sick neonates. 

Ø Free Child Health Services which include home based new born care, facility based new born care, Nutritional rehabilitation, Diarrhea management including free Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) and Zinc, pneumonia management including antibiotics. New Initiatives like Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram seeks to provide child health screening and early intervention services

  Ø Universal Immunization Programme which guarantees free vaccination of children against 7 diseases, free vaccination (TT) to pregnant women.

Ø Adolescent Health Services which include adolescent friendly services through Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) Clinics, Weekly Iron-Folic Acid Supplementation with deworming (WIFS).

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Ø Family planning activities, which include free services including providing information, supply of contraceptives and other family planning interventions.

Ø Control of Communicable diseases, which include free investigation and treatment for Malaria, Kala-azar, filarial, Dengue, Japanese Encephalitis and Chikungunya, Tuberculosis and Leprosy etc.

Ø Control of Non-communicable diseases, which include free cataract surgery for blindness control, free cornea transplant, glaucoma/diabetic retinopathy, free spectacles to children.

                 For these schemes, guidelines have been developed and shared with the States and the Schemes are operational. These are important steps towards achieving UHC which is an incremental process, linked to availability of adequate financial resources

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