China, India and Beyond

China, India and Beyond

Development Drivers and Limitations

Global Development Network series

Edited by Natalia Dinello and Shaoguang Wang

China, India and Beyond challenges the widespread belief that China and India will be the driving forces of the global economy in the 21st century. Scholars of these two countries offer scenarios ranging from buoyant to subdued to negative, depending on how they evaluate the drivers of development (market-oriented reforms, global integration and investment in human capital), and its limitations (infrastructure bottlenecks, environmental degradation and institutional frailties). The book covers a broad set of topics, including international trade and investment, health care and grassroots democracy. Readers from all countries will benefit from this cogent analysis of the delicate balance among various ingredients of successful development versus failure.

Chapter 7: Public–Private Partnership in the Provision of Health Care Services to the Poor in India

A. Venkat Raman and James Warner Björkman

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, development studies, asian development, development economics, economics and finance, development economics

Extract

A. Venkat Raman and James Warner Björkman Throughout the world, public–private partnerships have emerged as a promising model for health-sector reform. Change is needed partly due to resource constraints in the public sector (Mitchell-Weaver and Manning 1992) and partly due to a widespread belief that the public sector is endemically inefficient and unresponsive, while market mechanisms ensure good quality, cost-effective services (World Health Organization 2001; Bloom, Craig and Mitchell 2000). There is also a growing realization that, given their respective strengths and weaknesses, neither the public sector nor the private sector alone serves the best interests of the health system. Both the public and private healthcare sectors can potentially gain from one another (Wang 2000). However, a partnership with the private sector will require the public sector to reorient its role in financing as well as delivering services. In the Indian context, collaboration with the private sector to provide health services to poor and underserved sections of the population is critical, because approximately 29 per cent of India’s population (almost 300 million people) live below the poverty line and depend on free public health services. But despite its extensive network of health centers and hospitals, India’s public health-care system is unable to deliver health-care services at desirable levels of quality and efficiency due to inherent deficiencies in the system. Consequently, India’s poor are forced to seek services from the private sector, often borrowing money or selling land, cattle and even children to pay for the services. India has...

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