Universal Health Coverage Day, 2017

We are committed to advancing the agenda of Universal Health Coverage in the country, and have rolled out various initiatives to meet this aim.

Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare at a function to observe Universal Health Coverage Day, 2017, along with Shri S.P. Shukla, MoS (Finance), launched “LaQshya| लक्ष्य’’ – Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative, a Safe Delivery Mobile Application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas, and also released the Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units (HDUs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

National Health Policy 2017 has been approved which envisages the attainment of the highest possible level of health without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence. The Government has taken concrete steps to reduce the Out Of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE). Mission Indradhanush is one of the largest global public health initiatives was launced in 2014. In its four phases till date, MI has successfully reached over 25 million children in over 528 districts.

Laqshya| Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative

There is enough evidence that supports the fact that improving the quality of care in Labour rooms especially on the day of birth, is central to maternal and neonatal survival. Recognizing this fact, Government of India is launching Laqshya- Labor Room Quality Improvement Initiative. LaQshya is expected to improve the quality of care that is being provided to the pregnant mother in the Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres, thereby preventing the undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth. This initiative will be implemented in Government Medical Colleges (MCs) besides District Hospitals (DHs), and high delivery load Sub- District Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). The initiative plans to conduct quality certification of labour rooms and also incentivize facilities achieving the targets outlined. The goal of this initiative is to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OT and ensure respectful maternity care.

Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units (HDUs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs)

Another important aspect related to maternal mortality is availability of critical care for complicated cases. For this, the Government of India had released Guidelines for setting up of Obstetric High Dependency Units (HDUs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in 2016. The guidelines presented a broad concept of Obstetric HDU and ICU. We are now releasing the Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units (HDUs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs). These guidelines will complement the already existing National guidelines and help the states and state level policy makers in setting up and operationalising these critical care units, dedicated to the pregnant women and recently delivered mothers, in Medical colleges and District Hospitals.

Safe Delivery Application

The Safe Delivery Application is a mHealth tool that can be used for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas. The application has Clinical Instruction films on key obstetric procedures which can help the health workers translate their learnt skills into practice. It can play a pivotal role in training, post training reinforcement, mentoring and demonstration. This application has been tailored as per the Indian context. It has also been field tested in few districts and has been found to be useful for health workers who provide maternity care.

The goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) has become the major focus of health system reform around the world. UHC is about ensuring that everyone has access to the health care they need without suffering financial hardship. It has been called “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer”. 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.

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