The need for reforms in healthcare finance


Content from the Brookings Institution India Center is now archived. After seven years of an impactful partnership, as of September 11, 2020, Brookings India is now the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, an independent public policy institution based in India.

Editor's note:

This article first appeared in the Mint. The views are of the author(s). 

The Centre and state governments are experimenting with several new and exciting ideas in healthcare reforms. What is missing, however, is a serious reform agenda for health financing. The last big reform was expanding the coverage of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) from Rs30,000 to Rs1 lakh, reinforcing insurance as the long-term strategy for health financing. However, the experience of several countries has revealed that this is a perilous path—taking India towards a bad equilibrium. Depending on the route, India could end up spending either 18% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health like the US or just 4% like Singapore to achieve similar outcomes.

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