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India: Plenary on 'Achieving universal health coverage and sustaining it' - P4H Network

India: Plenary on ‘Achieving universal health coverage and sustaining it’

Arogya Manthan 2023 | 26 September 

India’s National Health Authority convened health systems experts from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Asian Development Bank, World Bank and Academia to discuss the progress made towards universal health coverage (UHC) on the occasion of the 5th Anniversary of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (Prime Minister’s Public Health Plan).

The Plenary is part of a 2-day annual event, Arogya Manthan organised by the National Health Authority (NHA) in New Delhi. This year centred around the anniversaries of two flagship social health protection programmes of the NHA- Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.

The event brought together senior dignitaries, policymakers from States and Union Territories, national experts from the healthcare sector, along with representatives from academia, think tanks, industry and media on a common platform to deliberate and collaborate on the way forward by sharing valuable insights. The panellists for this session included

  1. Ms Aradhna Patnaik, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  2. Dr Rathan U Kelkar, Executive Director, State Health Agency, Government of Kerala
  3. Dr Ajay Tandon, Lead Economist, World Bank
  4. Dr Shankar Prinja, Additional Professor of Health Economics, PGIMER, Chandigarh

The session was chaired by Mr Indu Bhushan, former CEO, NHA and co-chaired by Shri Millind Mhaisker, Additional Chief Secretary-Health, Government of Maharashtra. It was moderated by Nishant Jain, Health Sector Specialist, Asian Development Bank.

PM-JAY has remained completely tax-funded, but some States have explored other modes of financing while widening the coverage owing to flexibility allowed by the scheme and platform. At the same time, sustainability becomes increasingly important since around 30% of the Indian population (approx 8.5 crore families) still remains uncovered. It is therefore critical for sustainability of UHC interventions such as PMJAY. The session explores

  • Challenges and opportunities in moving towards UHC
  • Sustainability of UHC measures
  • Enabling factors that the country is implementing which can be leveraged in moving towards ‘sustainable’ UHC

Presentations made during the panel discussions

The Arogya Manthan 2023 Information Booklet

Video recording of the Session