Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Pay 'em or Don’t Charge 'em? The Case of Conditional Cash Transfers and User-Fee Exemptions in Nepal for Pregnant Mothers

Should patients be paid to seek lifesaving services? Should patients receive lifesaving service free of charge? While these two questions have typically been studied separately, we decided to take a look at them together. In our new study, published in Health Services Research, we find that not charging pregnant women for health services mattered less than paying them.

How to Make Fiscal Transfers Work for Better Health

India matters for global health. It accounts not only for about one-fifth of the global population, but also one-fifth of the global disease burden. Yet the Indian government spends only 1 percent of its GDP on public health—a paltry amount compared to what other large, federal countries like Brazil and China allocate (4.7 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively). This has a direct impact on Indian citizens who pay more out-of-pocket for health care than citizens in any other G20 country.

Realizing the Vision of Swasth Bharat through Fiscal Federalism in India

In his early days as India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi has shown remarkable leadership in all sectors, including health, for which he’s articulated his vision to create a Swasth Bharat, a Healthy India. Combined with two major policy windows—the proposed restructuring of the Planning Commission and the report of the 14th Finance Commission expected by the end of the year—the policy reforms under the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s mandate of “Universal Health Assurance for All” have the potential to be a game-changer for India’s neglected public health system.

Back to the People: Reorienting China’s Health System to Primary Care

For decades, primary health care in China has been practically forgotten. Most people in China today seek care directly at hospitals rather than local village clinics. With hospitals overwhelmed by patients for even minor conditions, doctors provide low quality care. But a new Health Economics study provides hope that it is possible to shift utilization from hospitals back down to village clinics – and back to the people.

The Health Financing Transition: Inevitable Change for the Better?

In the paper, we show that health spending in most countries is very likely to increase – and for some very good reasons. Most countries are experiencing rising incomes, people are living longer, and medical care technologies continue to expand. In other words, much of that money is buying more health. It is also likely, but hardly inevitable, that most of that increased spending will be channeled through taxes or insurance premiums rather than out-of-pocket. If countries work for that to happen, health spending will be less burdensome to the sick and the poor.

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