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India’s health insurance plans encourage a hospital centred system, World Bank says

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7020 (Published 17 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7020
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

Health insurance programmes in India funded by the government are delivering inpatient healthcare to millions of low income households, but are encouraging a hospital centred healthcare delivery system, and even “unneeded care,” a World Bank report has said.

The report, released last week, has analysed health insurance programmes in India launched by the central and various state governments over the past five years that have increased the population covered by health insurance from 75 million in 2007 to 300 million by 2010.

The insurance initiatives have “helped improve financial access to inpatient care for low income populations” for health conditions that might have gone untreated, World Bank health specialists Gerard La Forgia and Somi Nagpal said in their report.1

“We see some unique features of these schemes—they follow a bottom up design that starts with the poor, …

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