Jan Swastha Abhiyan- a network of NGOs working on health-related issues - has come up with a model for universal healthcare for Maharashtra to ensure access to cashless healthcare for all. It is based on strengthened public system and in-sourced, regulated private providers. The blueprint will be submitted to the new state government.
At a press meet in the Press Club on Monday, Dr P Sainath, an eminent journalist who was the chief guest, said: "Health care expenditure is one of the major reasons behind the indebtedness of farmers in Maharashtra. Many farmers mortgage their lands to pay hospital bills. It has a crushing effect on families."
Sainath added that with 'cut' practices and unnecessary investigations and operations, the burden has become large. "Universal health care (UHC) system is the real answer to this crisis," said Sainath.
UHC involves providing cashless, quality healthcare for every person irrespective of their economic status or capacity to pay. Maharashtra UHC group said that the UHC systems have been implemented successfully in many countries like Brazil and Thailand.
"If we compare Maharashtra to Brazil and Thailand, Maharashtra definitely has adequate man power, financial and health care resources to successfully implement UHC," said Dr Abhay Shukla, one of the key members of the Maharashtra UHC group.
Talking about the key features of the system, Dr Shukla said, "The key features of UHC includes right to health care for all, no payment at point of service, special efforts and programs for marginalized groups, elimination of unnecessary medicines, investigations, procedures etc. The blueprint will be submitted to the new government. Political will is the single most important requirement for UHC in Maharashtra."