ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Indranil MukhopadhyaySubscribe to Indranil Mukhopadhyay

Investing in Health

The publication of “Investing in Health,” the World Bank’s highly influential 1993 World Development Report, has guided structural adjustment policies and health sector reforms in many developing countries. This study looks at how investment in health has since taken place in India with the withdrawal of the state from healthcare, transformation of healthcare into a commodity, and promotion of the private healthcare sector by the state. This has led to an unregulated industry that is aggressively seeking expansion and profits from the provision of healthcare, and attracting investments by global finance capital.

No Respite for Public Health

Health allocations in Budget 2016-17, which show a modest increase in nominal terms, must be viewed against the virtual stagnation of allocations since 2010-11, and the major cuts of 2015-16. Meanwhile, state governments' investments in health grew steadily. The centre has only prioritised initiatives that stimulate private health sector growth. This approach will have immediate adverse effects on availability and quality of public health services and will cause impoverishment due to healthcare costs, compromising economic growth in the long run.

NSSO 71st Round Data on Health and Beyond

The overarching policy question in private expenditure on health that we should all be addressing is, “What must the government do to reduce the debilitating (financial) effects of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure of people?” A response to a comment (EPW, 21 November 2015) on the authors’ earlier piece (EPW, 15 August 2015).
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