Access to healthcare involves ‘helping people to command appropriate health care resources to preserve or improve their health’.1 Access is dependent on a number of interrelated variables such as the availability of services, personal barriers such as personal attitudes and beliefs regarding healthcare, organisational barriers such as the referrals systems and issues of equity, which takes into account financial barriers to healthcare.2 The Planning Commission of India has further stated that equitable access takes into account ‘income level, social status, gender, caste or religion’ in order to provide ‘affordable, accountable, appropriate health service of assured quality (promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative) as well as public health services addressing the wider determinants of health’.
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