Media headlines and public discourse might not reflect it, but one of the most important policy priorities for India now and over the next decade is health. The immediate task, of course, is ensuring that we bring the pandemic under control within the next year. The longer term challenge is to create a health care and public health system that will form the basis of our future growth and development.
Public policies designed to bring about better health outcomes are desirable in and of themselves. But in the post-pandemic world, investment in health is important for an instrumental reason as well — to revive the Indian economy in the short-term and create a new engine of growth that the country desperately needs. Despite the beating the system has received due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian healthcare sector has the potential and the opportunity to become a globally competitive hub for quality, affordable healthcare. The crisis is an opportunity for a comprehensive review of how India has approached its health policy and lay the foundations for something that is a whole lot better. Over the next few weeks, this column will focus on new dimensions and angles in developing health policy for the future.
This oped can also be read in Hindi, here