ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Health Payments and Household Well-being

How Effective Are Health Policy Interventions?

Shailender Kumar Hooda (skhooda.jnu@gmail.com) is with the Institute
for Studies in Industrial Development, New Delhi.

Health policy pronouncements in India currently advocate insurance-based financing mechanisms towards universal health coverage, sidelining the role of comprehensive healthcare provisioning through the public sector. This study, however, suggests that health insurance has been unsuccessful in protecting households from poverty and impoverishment resulting from out-of-pocket payments, and that insurance in fact subverts the effectiveness of the traditional health financing system. Free or low-cost healthcare provisioning by the state remains the best way to enhance the health and well-being of households, provided the inadequacies and inequalities across districts are addressed, and low-cost medicines and diagnostics made available to all.

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