The UN charter mandates every nation to ensure freedom from hunger, disease and ignorance for all its citizens. While priority is given to food security and education security in this regard, the health security is often not given with adequate attention by most developing countries. This is evident from the below five percent GDP annual health spending budget of most nations like India. This translates that the public health care would be grossly inadequate in relation to the demand. The poor in the absence of a state health care / health insurance system often resorts to health spending out of pocket, which is about 60 percent of health spends in nations like India. Further with poor income and far off habitats, most of the under privileged sections of the society are not able to access health care due to non proximity and unaffordablility. How to ensure affordable, quality and universal health care to every citizen is a challenge.
Recently in India, the state run subsidized health insurance schemes are aiming at reducing this out of pocket health expenditures by meeting the cost of most of the secondary and tertiary health care expenses. Further, the mainstream health insurers are gearing their efforts in this regard by offering products, which are mostly accessed by the elite population of the society and organized work force and these are normally driven by tax incentives. The poor mostly with the sole option of public health care access or state sponsored health insurance covers are affected lot, when healthcare is inaccessible or inappropriate. There are innovative community health insurance schemes that strive to address these gaps but however they are sporadic and inadequate. Thus there are significant gaps in reaching a level of good, universal health care system as prevalent in countries like The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In all, let us work for a scenario in all countries with situations of no out of pocket health expenses by people through multi pronged approaches of accessible quality public health care systems, universal health care, state health insurance schemes and community run schemes of health care and insurance.