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Universal health coverage (UHC) UPSC NOTE


  • Universal health coverage (UHC) signifies universal accessibility to comprehensive, high-quality health services, without financial hardship. 

  • UHC ensures that people receive care whenever and wherever they need it. 

  • It covers the full continuum of essential health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care. 

  • The delivery of these services relies on strong, efficient, and equitable health systems deeply rooted in the communities. 

  • UHC is built on the ethos of strengthening primary health care to ensure that all health needs are addressed in an integrated manner, supported by a well-equipped health and care workforce.

  • The theme of International UHC day is ‘Health for all: Time for Action’ 

  • In 2012, the UN General Assembly unanimously endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress towards UHC. 

  • In India, the high level expert group report, submitted to the Planning Commission in 2011, outlined a government intent to increase public financing for health to 2.5% of India’s GDP during the 12th Plan (2012-17). 

  • The economic growth of the country makes this increase feasible

  • The two critical components of the UHC policy — strengthening primary healthcare and reducing out-of-pocket expenditure — demand focused attention

  • India lacks a constitutional provision for the fundamental right to basic health. 

  • However, the Directive Principles of State Policy in Part IV of the Constitution provides a basis for the right to health.

  • Article 39 (e) of the Constitution directs the state to secure the health of workers: that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength

  • Article 42 emphasises just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief  

  • Article 47 casts a duty on the state to raise the nutrition levels and standard of living, and to improve public health:

    •  The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health. 

  • Article 243G endows the panchayats and municipalities to strengthen public health under 



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Universal health coverage (UHC) UPSC NOTE
Universal health coverage (UHC) UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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