Universal Healthcare- Best Practices around the World and in India

Syed Fazil Shariq SA - Tata Institute of Social Sciences

About Universal Health Care


Universal health care (also called universal health coverage, universal coverage, universal care, or socialized health care) is a health care system that provides health care and financial protection to all citizens of a particular country. Universal health care does not imply coverage for all people for everything. Universal health care can be determined by three critical dimensions:

· who is covered,

· what services are covered,

· and how much of the cost is covered


It is described by the World Health Organization as a situation where citizens can access health services without incurring financial hardship. As part of Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations member states have agreed to work toward worldwide universal health coverage by 2030.


Best Practices around the world:


In Canada, the government finances health insurance, and the private sector delivers a lot of the care. Insurance is run at the province level. Many Canadians have supplemental private insurance through their jobs to help pay for prescription drugs, dentists and optometry. The government ends up paying for about 70 percent of health care spending in all.

In Britain, The government not only finances care, but also provides it through the National Health Service. Coverage is broad, and most services are free to citizens, with the system financed by taxes, though there is a private system that runs alongside the public one. About 10 percent buy private insurance. Government spending accounts for more than 80 percent of all health care spending.


In the case of United States of America has a mix of clashing ideas where private insurance through employment; single-payer Medicare mainly for those 65 and older; state-managed Medicaid for many low-income people; private insurance through exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act; as well as about 28 million people without any insurance at all. Hospitals are private, except for those run by the Veterans Health Administration.


Singapore has a unique approach. Basic care in government-run hospital wards is cheap, sometimes free, with more deluxe care in private rooms available for those paying extra. Singapore’s workers contribute around 37 percent of their wages to mandated savings accounts that may be spent on health care, housing, insurance, investment or education, with part of that being an employer contribution. The government, which helps control costs, is involved in decisions about investing in new technology. It