Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

Comprehensive Primary healthcare Services; Universal Health Coverage (UHC) project has been piloted successfully in 3 pilot blocks of Veppur, Shoolagiri and Viralimalai in 3 Health Unit Districts (HUDs) of Perambalur, Krishnagiri and Pudukottai respectively covering 67 HSCs and 17 PHCs (including block PHCs) since 2016. In 2017-18, the program was up-scaled to additional 39 blocks @ 1 block per HUD.

UHC aims to bring comprehensive set of services near to the doorsteps of the people thereby reducing out-of-pocket expenditure. UHC also aims to address the healthcare needs of the people in long-term basis. The full spectrum of essential, quality health services should be covered including health promotion, prevention and treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. The major focus under UHC in context of Tamil Nadu is on NCD screening and management starting from the community level through a Women Health Volunteer (WHV) from Women Development Corporation without compromising MCH and Communicable diseases management. The UHC programme is named as “Anaivarukkum Nalavazhvu Thittam”.

In the year (2018-19), Government had made an announcement to transform its 985 Health Sub-Centres, 716 Additional PHCs and 214 Urban PHCs to Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs) with Government of India support of Rs. 9357.47 lakhs (rural & urban). In 2019-20, the State will transform 668 Additional PHCs and 246 Urban PHCs to Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs) with Government of India support of Rs. 13573.64 lakhs (rural & urban). Among the larger States, Tamil Nadu became the first State to transform all PHCs and U-PHCs into HWCs. Under UHC, all PHCs in Tamil Nadu will be functioning 24x7. Staff Nurses (SNs) will be the healthcare provider at PHC level between 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. under the supervisory control of the PHC Medical Officer.

The roll out plan for HWC in Tamil Nadu is given in below table

Year. HSCs Addl. PHCs Urban PHCs Total
2017-18 67 14 - 81
2018-19 918 702 214 1834
2019-20 796 668 246 1710
2020-21 667 - - 667
Total Target for 2020-21 2448 1384 460 1982
(47% of target)
Total Target set by GoI (2022-23) 7921 1421 420 9132

The program is being implemented through the State Programme Management Unit (SPMU), Universal Health Coverage (UHC) & Maternal Child Health (MCH) established at the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Tamil Nadu in co-ordination with NHM Tamil Nadu. The HWCs would be the window of opportunity for strengthening the primary health care system in our State.