India will start the L4UHC programme in April 2023, making it the 15th country to take part in the programme and underlining L4UHC’s growing popularity and value.
The country has already achieved more than 60% UHC coverage, according to the WHO, but there are significant variations across its 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.