Given the importance and quantum of investment required, targeted stimuli that aid and finance various supply-side efficiencies should be provided to health care players.
UHC demands an elevated degree of optimum and efficient provision of health care services, i.e., adequate and quality health care delivery at an optimal cost.
Given India’s unique characteristics — a vast population with a high disease burden, coupled with a grossly inadequate and under-equipped provider infrastructure — effective supply-side measures are non-negotiable imperatives for a UHC program to be successful.
These measures are required to initiate and calibrate the required velocity for capacity generation and distribution to be able to service the demand that will get released once health services become affordable under UHC program.
At the same time, it will be imperative to manage cost of care and ensure effective governance mechanisms for managing scalability and quality. Keeping this context in mind, the following supply-side constraints and challenges would need to be addressed through focused interventions:
- Emphasis on provision of primary and preventive care with a focus on improving health outcomes
- Focus on physical infrastructure generation and equitable distribution (beds per 1,000 by 2021–22)
- Focus on human infrastructure development and generation (doctors and nurses per 1,000 population)
- Focus on cost of health care necessitated under a tightly controlled UHC regime
- Effective governance framework to manage scale, costs and quality of health care delivery
- Advancement of care by building centers of excellence
It can be argued that with the government financing the demand side, supply-side incentives should be avoided or minimized in UHC. However, increasing the efficiency of the health system would require targeted supply-side financing to: