India is gearing up to join the L4UHC programme as part of its drive to accelerate UHC across the country’s 1.3 billion-strong population.

Due to start the programme in September 2022, the country will be the 15th nation to take part in this initiative, underlining L4UHC’s growing popularity and value.

India has already achieved more than 60% UHC coverage, according to the WHO, but there are significant variations across the country’s 28 states and 8 Union territories. One of the programme’s goals will be to share best practices between the states so that they all reach more people more rapidly and to a consistently high standard.

A scoping mission in India was carried out by L4UHC in April and May 2022 in order to identify potential participants and issues that stakeholders would like to address through the programme. This involved meetings with two key national institutions – the National Health Authority and NITI Aayog (formerly the planning commission, as well as in-person visits to institutions in three states (Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) and virtual meetings with two other states (Assam and Kerala). Discussions with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) under Ministry of Labour & Employment are expected soon.

Local stakeholders suggested a range of issues that the programme could address, from ironing out supply chains through to managing insurance schemes, facilitating greater integration, and IT considerations, as well as supporting a planned UHC Centre of Excellence.

The precise focus of the programme in India will be developed with the key stakeholders, with the aim of launching the first stage of L4UHC in the country in September 2022.

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