Saturday, February 17, 2018

Modi Doesn’t Care- Mindless expansion of Health Insurance


"The State has played a critical role over last three decades in the expansion of organised health care market in the country. Be it through provision of free land and electricity for setting up private hospitals, or systematic destruction of public institutions through chronic under-investment, or ensuring supply of skilled health professional to private sector through complete ban on recruitments in public sector; or through user fees and public private partnerships, health sector reforms have been used by the neo-liberal establishment to expand private sector in large metropolitan cities at the cost of public services. Government’s persistence with insurance models epitomize the growing strength of for-profit sector which sees insurance as a vehicle to expand further in smaller towns and rural areas at the cost of public exchequer. Insurance programs are seen as immense opportunity to ‘commodify’ and ‘medicalise’ the ‘health market’ in areas where the demand for health services remains low otherwise. Under the aegis of finance capital, governments are being called upon to expand their financing function so that the private provider and insurance market gets ‘business’, to survive and thrive, in the name of providing ‘efficient’ and ‘quality’ care."