Research and policy interface: Deliberations on Universal Health Coverage in India
India is committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC). As part of this commitment, the Government of India has set up a High Level Expert Group to propose reworking on physical and financial norms needed to ensure equitable access to healthcare services. Though the Group has come up with its report on several recommendations on UHC, its implementation remains unclear. India offers a specific challenge to UHC due to its wide inequity across region, caste, class and gender lines to access quality health care.
The National conference on ‘Bringing Evidence into Public Health Policy’ (EPHP) offers a common platform for researchers, policy makers and public health practitioners to come together to deliberate on strengthening health system to achieve UHC in India. EPHP 2012 is being organized by the Institute of Public Health, Bangalore in collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, National Health System Resource Centre of the Government of India and State Health Resource Centre of the Government of Karnataka. The theme is ‘Strengthening health system to achieve Universal Health Coverage in India’. The conference will be held on October 5-6, 2012 in Bangalore. It has three specific objectives:
- Disseminate the concepts of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Health Systems (HS) in the Indian context.
- Disseminate and review the evidence of research and implementation experiences of health systems strengthening at the National and State Level.
- Provide a platform to bring together policy makers, practitioners and researchers to reflect on issues related to Health Systems and Universal Health Coverage.
The conference brings together international experts including Prof. Anne Mills (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK), Prof. Bruno Greesyles (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium), and Prof. Juliet Nabyonga (Makerere University, Uganda) who will share their experiences of engaging in research on health system strengthening and universal health coverage in other low- and middle- income countries. Fifty high quality research papers from different parts of India would be presented and discussed. These papers relate to evidence on themes ranging from human resources, financing health care, health system governance and role of community in health systems.
Policymakers from several state Governments and the central Government will be engaging with the research evidence presented in EPHP. They will share their experiences and perspectives on issues and challenges at stake in UHC in India. Members of the High Level Expert Group on UHC in India will also participate in the conference. The conference seeks to chart out pathways for strengthening health system to achieve universal health coverage. It would identify specific actions points both for research and policy.
Details of the conference including thematic sessions, detailed programme and information on key note speakers are available on www.ephp.in.
For details about the host Institute, please visit www.iphindia.org.
Arima Mishra is a Faculty at the Institute of Public Health and N. Devadasan is the Director of the Institute of Public Health, Bangalore.