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

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Draft National Health Policy 2015

This paper contributes to the debate on the Draft National Health Policy 2015 by analysing and critiquing some of its key recommendations within the prevailing social, economic, and political context of the country. This policy seems to suggest that strategic purchasing of curative health services from both the public and private sectors can enable India to achieve the goal of "universal healthcare." The draft policy is based on two assumptions. One, policy interventions since the National Health Policy 2002 have been largely successful and two, there is harmony of purpose between public and private healthcare delivery systems which allows the private sector to be used for achieving public health goals. This article argues that these assumptions are flawed, highlights the various contradictions in the policy and cautions against over-optimism on publicly-financed health insurance schemes.

Solidarity with Gaza

The world is once again witness to the macabre dance of death in Gaza unleashed by the Israeli aggressors, and once again the news of scores of innocent Palestinian deaths, including those of a number of women and children, is flooding in. The tragedy is compounded many-fold by the conspiracy of...

Demand-side Financing and Promotion of Maternal Health

Use of demand-side financing has become increasingly common in maternal healthcare and India has been a leading example with large-scale programmes such as the Janani Suraksha Yojana and Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana. This paper undertakes a systematic review of the evidence to consider how demand-side financing has been used and whether there has been any impact on maternal health service utilisation, maternal health, or other outcomes. The findings suggest that a relatively narrow focus on achieving targets has often overburdened health facilities, while inadequate referral systems and unethical practices present overwhelming barriers for women with obstetric complications. The limited evidence available also suggests that little has been done to challenge the low status of poor women at home and in the health system.

The Missing Mission in Health

The National Urban Health Mission was supposed to address the unmet health needs of urban Indians. Yet, it has failed to commence work even 18 months after the announcement of its formation. A rapidly urbanising India has been marked by a series of epidemics of communicable diseases in the last two decades and increasing informalisation of the economy. Urban health systems, therefore, need serious and quick reforms.
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