Vol VIII, Issue 3 Date of Publication: July 02, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2023.015

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‘Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam’ scheme in Tamil Nadu: an intersectionality-based analysis of access to NCD care.

Rajeswaran Thiagesan
Hilaria Soundari
Kalpana B
Vijayaprasad Gopichandran
There are gross inequities in access to non-communicable disease (NCD) care in India. The Indian state of Tamil Nadu recently launched the “Medicine at people’s doorstep” (Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam — MTM) scheme in which screening and medications for NCDs are delivered at people’s doorsteps. This is likely to improve geographical access to NCD services in the community. The objective of this study is to analyse the MTM scheme and recommend policy interventions for improved and equitable access to NCD services in the community. We analysed the MTM policy document using the intersectionality-based policy analysis framework. This analysis was supplemented further with literature review to enhance understanding of the various intersecting axes of inequities, such as gender discrimination, caste oppression, poverty, disabilities and geographical access barriers. The MTM policy document, while it removes the physical access barrier, does not frame the problem of NCDs from an intersectionality perspective. This can increase the chances of inequities in access to NCD services persisting despite this scheme. We also recommend interventions for the short, intermediate and long term to make NCD care more accessible. Creation of a gender, caste, class, geographical access, and disabilities disaggregated database of patients with NCDs, using this database for monitoring the delivery of MTM services, dynamic mapping of vulnerability of the target populations for delivery of MTM services and long term ongoing digital surveillance of factors inducing inequities to access of NCD services can all help reduce inequities in access to NCD care.

Copyright and license
©Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 2023: Open Access and Distributed under the Creative Commons license ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0),
which permits only non-commercial and non-modified sharing in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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