Kolkata Group calls for India to set clear course towards achieving universal healthcare

At the 2014 Kolkata Group meeting over 50 participants – from academics, including OPHI Director Sabina Alkire, to policy makers and activists – today compared India’s dismal state of health services to better performing Asian experiences in Thailand, China and Bangladesh, and called for sustained and determined leadership in developing a universal healthcare system.

Framing healthcare a ‘fundamental human right’, the Kolkata Group called on leaders to prioritise healthcare that integrates different kinds of services and also includes public health conditions such as nutrition services, and water and sanitation.

They pointed to concrete priorities for change, including rechanneling health insurance to correct perverse incentives, motivating medical professionals to carry out their duties to high ethical standards, and supporting sustained and visionary leadership. If Universal Health Care is voiced as a priority across India, then historic progress could, indeed, ensue.

The Kolkata Group is an initiative inspired by the work of the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen which brings together participants from various backgrounds to discuss the inter-connections between inequality, deprivation, human development, and democracy.

You can read the full statement issued at the 2014 Kolkata Group meeting here.