"On major health indicators, such as infant mortality, maternal mortality and child nutrition, India compares poorly with many developing countries, including several South Asian neighbours. Also, there is a surge in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, mental illness and other chronic diseases which are killing or disabling millions of young or middle aged adults.''
"India's health system is ill equipped to deal with these concomitant challenges, at the desired level of access, affordability and quality," said Dr Reddy delivering the annual Ganga Ram Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (GRIPMER) oration on Monday.
He noted that even though some tertiary care institutions are world class, primary and secondary care services have suffered from gross neglect.

Low levels of public financing, severe shortages in several categories of health professionals, weak regulatory systems and variable standards of governance across states, have combined to debilitate India's health system over the years, Dr Reddy said.
"The call for implementing UHC in India resonates well with global trends where UHC is providing a platform for health system reform in many countries.
"UHC provides a pathway for improving access to needed health services of assured quality to all people, without imposing financial hardship. By prioritising primary health care and emergency health services, along with essential elements of more advanced care, UHC will cater to most of the health needs.''
"Also free provision of essential drugs and basic diagnostics in public facilities will reduce the high out of pocket health expenditure which is presently pushing millions into poverty each year," he said.

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