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The Clarion- International Multidisciplinary Journal
Year : 2015, Volume : 4, Issue : 1
First page : ( 154) Last page : ( 184)
Print ISSN : 2277-1697. Online ISSN : 2277-937X.

Half empty or half filled? notes on universal health coverage in northeast India

Sarma Jayanta B1, Bhattacharyya Rituparna2

1Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, England and University of Newcastle, England, Founding Trustee, North East Clinical Excellence Foundation, Guwahati, India

2Newcastle University

*Corresponding author: jayanta.sarma@nhs.net

Online published on 16 February, 2015.

Abstract

India's Northeast is a home to numerous and diverse ethnic communities, each with its own unique socio-cultural characteristics and over 80 per cent of the population live in the rural areas. Many areas within the region are difficult to access. In addition, the region shares long international borders. Economic development has been slow but there has been growth in recent times and many societies are going through a transitional phase. Natural disaster such as floods are of regular occurrences in many areas, which wipes out many developmental gains made previously. Given these complexities, health problems of the masses acquire extra dimensions different to the rest of the country. This review outlines the state of health care infrastructure and availability of services including key health indices and sheds light on universal health coverage in the seven north-eastern states vis-à-vis national scenario using 2005 as the base year, the year in which National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched, which is now renamed as National Health Mission (NHM). The concept of universal health coverage and challenges that India faces are briefly discussed at the outset to describe the context. Based on the survey and critical appraisals, strategic approach required for speedy achievement of universal coverages discussed focussing on the India's north-east.

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Keywords

Health, NRHM, Northeast, Natural disaster, healthcare.

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