Can Government Sponsored Health Insurance Schemes (GHISs) be optimised to enhance the quality of health care in the private sector and improve public facilities? Prabal Vikram Singh and Rohini Kalvakuntla from ACCESS Health International at the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions evaluate GHISs within the framework of Universal Health Coverage in India.
The agenda of universal health care in India is driven by the concept of equitable, accessible and affordable health care for all. The objective is to protect both the poor and the non-poor from health risks and also to provide financial protection. There are several paths to achieving this goal, and the question is, which are the most viable ones? One of the obvious answers is to strengthen public facilities, right from the sub-centres and primar y health centres (PHCs) to community health centres (CHCs) and district hospitals, in order to cater to a larger segment of the population and maintain certain levels of quality. One of the inherent problems of this approach, however, especially, in India, is the lack of faith people have in the public sector due to the arguably poor quality of ser vices provided or the ver y availability of services and service providers.