Edition 13 | September 19, 2022

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to present to you the next edition of the monthly newsletter by the Lancet Citizens' Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System. This edition focuses on the analysis of technology levers for universal health care, the need to invest in education and health in the next 25 years, the inclusivity and increasing participation of women in making India a digitally-powered and sustainable innovation hub and more. As a Citizens’ Commission, we invite the public to participate, provide input and continue to engage with this new initiative.

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This Month's Highlightes

Reimagining India’s Health System: Technology Levers for Universal Health Care

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the inadequacies of our current health systems and rekindled the debate around universal health care, the Lancet Citizens’ Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System was launched in late 2020. As a part of the commission, we articulated how technology can enable universal health care. We begin by stating the foundational values—a set of normative statements—that should underpin the use of technology in our health systems. Then, after summarising the paradigm shifts necessary to achieve citizen-centred universal health care, we articulate five ‘technology levers’ to enable those shifts. Finally, we describe the intersections and synergies between technology and the other pillars of health systems, namely, human resources, financing, governance and citizens’ engagement, write Vijay ChandruSharad Sharma Raghu Dharmaraju.

Views & Opinions 

India at 75 looking at 100: Equitable access should be the goal

To create the foundation for the next century, we need to invest in education and health in the next 25 years — not just for the elite, but for all, writes Gagandeep Kang.

India@100: A digitally-powered and sustainable innovation hub

By 2047 India could become a knowledge economy powered by cutting-edge research. Inclusivity and increasing participation of women hold the key, writes Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

Why family needs to be at the heart of India’s health system

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the overcrowding of hospitals with anxious patients, the stress on families, desperate for credible advice, brought to the fore the need for family doctors and a resilient primary health system, writes Sujatha Rao.


75 years of Healthcare System in India

In this episode of the 'India in Focus' podcast, Dr Vikram Patel, The Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School, Dr Gagandeep Kang, Professor at CMC Vellore, and Dr Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School discuss the 75 years of the healthcare system in India since Independence and the work of the Lancet Citizens' Commission in achieving Universal Health Coverage in India.


Linking Public Policy to Impactful Governance: The Critical Role of Parliamentary Constituencies

The seminar will discuss the role and significance of Members of Parliament (MPs) for evidence-based public policy dialogue, monitoring and action, and the need for routine data on health, nutrition, and development indicators at the geographical unit of Parliamentary Constituencies (PC).

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Disease-specific Experiences in the Journey to Universal Health Coverage

This webinar focussed on the experiences of individuals with a lived incident of the Indian health care system and reflected on the key changes that they would like to see in the goal of achieving universal health coverage. The webinar provided a unique opportunity to learn from, and interact directly with, leaders and advocates who can help identify specific barriers that disease-specific groups face when accessing the health care system, and the obstacles they face in translating access/consumption of services into benefit.

Commission Members in Spotlight 

"Health is hardly a subject of public debate nor something people across groups demand accountability for. Consequently, political commitment and system capacity is low. This is further complicated by the way society is fractured along caste, class, gender, religious and other lines. In my opinion which technical resources available, the issue is not one of simple logistics (which is definitely one issue but not the only one) but of understanding the health system as a core social institution. The acceptance of this concept of social determination as well as a subsequent commitment to social impact or social effectiveness of policy and interventions, is critical to achieving UHC," says Dr. Rakhal Gaitonde, Professor of Public Health, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Insititute of Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram

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"To me, the main challenge in India is the lack of a “systems approach” in designing health reforms for UHC. Historically, health reforms in India have mostly been vertical and disease-focused. Though these have tried to address health system challenges, policies have focused on narrow areas like increasing physical access to health facilities (instead of, say, re-designing the organization of health delivery); or increasing hospital-based insurance (instead of thinking of financial risk protection more comprehensively). We need to move beyond this piecemeal, vertical approach. To achieve UHC, we need to use multiple policy levers of financing, organization, purchasing, and provider payments," says Anuska Kalita, Visiting Scientist and India Health System Specialist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Read full interview
Featured Partner

Swaniti Initiative seeks to ensure delivery of public services to the beneficiaries at the last mile across developing nations. The Organisation is providing research support to the Finance workstream of the Commission.

Help us develop a roadmap to achieve universal health coverage in India by visiting our website: https://www.citizenshealth.in/

We love hearing back from you! Please send your comments, suggestions, and contributions for these newsletters, including research highlights and published features to info@citizenshealth.in
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