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Experts question proposals to use private sector in India’s health reforms

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5489 (Published 13 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5489
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

India’s most influential government think tank has agreed to revise a draft document for healthcare reform after some experts claimed that it reflected an intent to hand over virtually all clinical services to the private sector.

The document from India’s Planning Commission, which outlines health priorities for the period 2012 to 2017, has proposed new initiatives to reduce the amount that Indians contribute personally to healthcare, from the current level of 71% to 50% of total health spending.

The document suggests that the government would fund and deliver services such as ambulance transport, obstetric and newborn care, immunisation, and the management of tuberculosis and malaria. The government would also pay for but “not necessarily directly provide” other clinical services that would be available through public and private sector healthcare providers, leaving the choice to patients and their families, it said.

The proposals have evoked sharp reactions …

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