To achieve the goal of ‘Health for All’ in India, appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is crucial. Here are some points that highlight the importance of community-level healthcare intervention in achieving this goal:
- Increased Outreach: Local community-level intervention provides comprehensive and accessible healthcare that meets the immediate needs of individuals, leading to increased outreach and better healthcare coverage.
- Early Disease Detection: Risk screening for early disease detection can bring down the overall disease burden of the country. Early detection of diseases like TB can improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
- Preventive Services: Provision of preventive services like vaccinations, family planning, nutrition, and maternal care at the local level can reduce the need for secondary and tertiary healthcare services, improving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.
- Addressing Poverty: Managing chronic health conditions and providing palliative care at the local level can reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure for people, addressing poverty and reducing healthcare disparities.
- Maintaining Physician-Patient Ratio: Maintaining the physician-patient ratio at the grassroots level can ensure the availability of doctors for all, reducing the dependence on quacks and eliminating preventable causes like incorrect treatment.
- Creating Infrastructure at Local Level: The healthcare intervention at the local community level should be supplemented by upgradation of infrastructure, technological advancement, and capacity building of health workers.
- Decentralisation: Decentralization that involves local community health workers can effectively address the local healthcare needs, reducing the burden on higher levels of healthcare.
- Monitoring Communicable Diseases: Screening COVID infected patients and suggesting appropriate responses, acting as a triage, and creating awareness for communicable and non-communicable diseases.
- Addressing Inequality: These easily accessible centres, which can be opened in the localities, require less investment, reducing geographical as well as economic inequality.
- Behavioural Change: Medical advice-seeking behaviour can be improved through community-level healthcare interventions.
Thus, community-level healthcare intervention is essential to achieving ‘Health for All’ in India. The government has taken initiatives like Ayushman Bharat and produced a National Health Policy and National Health blueprint to take a view on digitalization of health records and universal healthcare, which can further supplement community-level healthcare interventions. In conclusion, community-level healthcare is a highly beneficial proposition for society, and achieving universal healthcare is impossible without it.