Reducing Poverty: The Case for Universal Health Care

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Chatham House, London


Satyendar Jain, Minister of Health, Government of Delhi, India
Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University; Nobel Prize, Economics (1998)
Chair: Pam Das, Senior Executive Editor, The Lancet


In India, hundreds of millions of people have inadequate access to affordable health care. As a result, around 60 million Indians are pushed into poverty every year due to out-of-pocket expenditure on vital health care. Since the 1980s, the Indian state has discussed health care reforms and the current government's National Health Policy 2017 has ambitions to provide universal health care coverage. But how realistic is this new policy platform given the problems encountered with previous health policies? And what are the implications for India's place in international affairs if universal health care is not delivered?

This event will discuss the consequences of the current lack of universal health coverage for India's poverty reduction and development on the global stage. The panellists will suggest and analyse policies which could improve future access to health services for the Indian population, as well as other nations looking to utilize health reforms as a means to stimulate growth and reduce poverty.

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