Edition 6 | February 21, 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 includes the latest analysis on the Union Budget 2022 by members of the Commission, including examining the trends in allocations, public expenditures, outputs, and outcomes of crucial health and welfare schemes. The Commission hopes to actively engage with the everyday life of policymaking and contribute towards finding solutions to complex healthcare challenges. As a Citizens’ Commission, we invite the public to participate, provide input and continue to engage with this new initiative.
This Month's Highlight
The webinar was a joint Lancet Citizens’ Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System event with Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Population Foundation of India (PFI). The Government of India’s annual budget, presented in Parliament on February 1, 2022, was widely expected to respond to the urgency of enhanced investments in public health care. This panel analyzed the implications of the 2022-23 budget for health investments in the coming year.
News from the Commission
Does the poor performance and the moment in time that we are in right now, combined with some of our latent strengths, paradoxically, present us with an opportunity to leapfrog the health systems in other countries? Nachiket Mor and Raghu Dharmaraju explore the idea.
Cancer cases increased by nearly 324% from 2017 to 2018 in India according to National Health Profile, 2019 data. However, a rise of only 29% in cancer cases was noticed from 2020 to 2021. This highlights a huge number of missed cases which will increase the burden on the health care system in the coming years, write Dr Parth Sharma and Dr Ashish Singh.
The term Long Covid was coined by patients who recovered from Covid-19. This condition may be continuous, or symptoms may recur intermittently. In this article, Lenny Vasanthan T, Dr. Bhagteshwar Singh, and Dr. Priscilla Rupali answer questions about Long Covid.
Views & Opinions 

Our economic recovery is K-shaped and the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the poorest: Yamini Aiyar writes, increased welfare spending visible in the first year of the pandemic needed to continue. However, this has not been the case.

The expanded ambit of health, as defined in last year’s budget, must continue for aligning other sectors to public health objectives, writes K Srinath Reddy.

This widening gap between the rich and the poor is a stark indication of the lack of pro-poor policies that aim to mitigate poverty and inequality, write Poonam Muttreja and PD Rai.
Workshops & Events
The webinar focussed on the impact of the third wave of COVID-19 in India and the short and long-term actions and management needed to address it. The panelists discussed the actual estimated mortality rates due to COVID in India, the successes and failures in handling the pandemic, and the role that technology and genomic surveillance can play in reducing its impact. 
Commission Members in Spotlight 
"There are several challenges in achieving UHC, but for me, at the heart of this is arriving at a consensus on the normative role of the state in health care combined with a rebuilding of trust in the capacity of the state to deliver quality care. I think these are still profoundly contentious issues within our politics. I believe the commission is deeply committed to strengthening the public health system and its dimensions, but a larger political and social consensus needs to be built on this. Underlying this is the issue of governance. Part of the reason the normative role of the state in providing health is up for debate is precise because of repeated, long-term failure of governance and the state's ability to deliver quality, equitable care to all," says Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research
"One challenge in achieving UHC is orienting the private sector to work together towards public health goals. Another challenge seems related to a puzzle about the performance potential: why is it that the health system seems able to operate in mission mode, e.g., rolling out vaccinations at scale, but in the main shows inertia and low performance? A related point is an absorptive capacity: some states appear less capable of spending money allocated to them, but we need initial investments to create favorable conditions for the performance and efficiency of spending. These questions concern both finance and governance, and some key challenges for achieving UHC lie at this intersection," says Radhika Gore, Director of Research at the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone (FHC)
Featured Partner
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