A global body, chaired by former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, has suggested scaling up of universal health coverage in India, modelled on the AAP government’s flagship ‘Mohalla Clinics’ project.
In a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Annan has lauded the health reforms in the national capital, notably in providing free primary healthcare services through the mohalla clinics.
“We understand that this initiative is proving very successful and we commend you on this impressive achievement,” Annan wrote in the letter dated January 25 in his capacity as the Chair of ‘The Elders’, an organisation of independent global leaders founded by anti-apartheid icon and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.
The letter came with a memorandum containing a set of suggestions to further develop the programme. Implementing these would help extend the health coverage in Delhi and provide important lessons for the other Indian states.
The policy memorandum observed that the root cause of India’s relatively poor health coverage was the “chronically low levels” of public financing in the sector, which is among the lowest in Asia.
“Delhi’s mohalla clinics may prove to be a good model to scale up Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in India…Many key health stakeholders in India are therefore, very excited about the Mohalla Clinic programme and its potential to become a model for scaling up coverage in other states,” it said.
There are 106 such clinics in Delhi and according to a report published in The Lancet journal, close to 1.5 million (15 lakh) patients have visited them in the past year.