Towards achievement of universal health care in India by 2020: a call to action

Lancet. 2011 Feb 26;377(9767):760-8. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61960-5. Epub 2011 Jan 10.


To sustain the positive economic trajectory that India has had during the past decade, and to honour the fundamental right of all citizens to adequate health care, the health of all Indian people has to be given the highest priority in public policy. We propose the creation of the Integrated National Health System in India through provision of universal health insurance, establishment of autonomous organisations to enable accountable and evidence-based good-quality health-care practices and development of appropriately trained human resources, the restructuring of health governance to make it coordinated and decentralised, and legislation of health entitlement for all Indian people. The key characteristics of our proposal are to strengthen the public health system as the primary provider of promotive, preventive, and curative health services in India, to improve quality and reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure on health care through a well regulated integration of the private sector within the national health-care system. Dialogue and consensus building among the stakeholders in the government, civil society, and private sector are the next steps to formalise the actions needed and to monitor their achievement. In our call to action, we propose that India must achieve health care for all by 2020.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Care Reform*
  • Health Care Sector / economics
  • Health Care Sector / organization & administration
  • Health Care Sector / standards
  • Health Care Sector / trends*
  • Health Policy / trends
  • Humans
  • India
  • Insurance, Health*
  • National Health Programs* / standards
  • National Health Programs* / trends
  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector
  • Universal Health Insurance*