Inovação, baixo custo e eficácia

Lições da liberalização dos serviços de saúde na Índia.

Poverty, geography and poor infrastructure mean that India faces perhaps the world’s heaviest disease burden, ranging from infectious diseases, the traditional scourge of the poor, to diseases of affluence such as diabetes and hypertension. The public sector has been overwhelmed, which is not surprising considering how little India’s government spends on health as a share of national income . Accordingly, nearly four-fifths of all health services are supplied by private firms and charities—a higher share than in any other big country.

In the past that was more a reflection of the state’s failure than the dynamism of entrepreneurs, but this is changing fast. Technopak Healthcare, a consulting firm, expects spending on health care in India to grow from $40 billion in 2008 to $323 billion in 2023. In part, that is the result of the growing affluence of India’s emerging middle classes. Another cause is the nascent boom in health insurance, now offered both by private firms and, in some cases, by the state. In addition, the government has recently liberalised the industry, easing restrictions on lending and foreign investment in health care, encouraging public-private partnerships and offering tax breaks for health investments in smaller cities and rural areas.

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