A Dvara Research & IndiaSpend Webinar Series

If the desired outcomes of a properly functioning healthcare system are good health outcomes, customer satisfaction, and adequate risk protection, then the Indian healthcare system is performing very poorly. The health status of Indians, relative to other developing countries, is below par. Health expenditures are skewed heavily towards out-of-pocket expenditures, and this translates into large socioeconomic inequalities in healthcare provision. Where services are available, they are generally of low quality. Middle- and low-income households are the most disadvantaged by these failings, and neither the state nor the market appears to be effective in closing these gaps. The objective of this webinar series will be to explore one of the “control knobs” for reforming the healthcare system in India that has not received adequate attention, and that is the financing of healthcare.

Over the course of four sessions, distinguished panellists will take up some of the most pressing questions about the financing of healthcare, and suggest pathways and proposals for reforming healthcare in India that are rooted in our context and institutional abilities.


  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Session 4
The Indian health financing landscape: what are the reform opportunities for this decade?
Monday, September 14th, 17:30 – 18:30 IST
  • Public finance first principles. What is the case for Government intervention in health care? What are the public goods in health care?
  • For private goods in health, what are the limitations of a pure OOP approach?
  • The importance of focusing on the quantum and effectiveness of pooled expenditures
  • An overview of the reform pathways for India


Recommended reading: Status of Health Systems in India at National and Subnational Levels – Hasna Ashraf & Nachiket Mor


Commercial health insurance: Why not pay for outcomes?
Friday, October 9th, 17:30 – 18:30 IST
  • Scale and reach, what segments/packages are excluded and why
  • Supply-side problems
  • Role for managed care models
  • International best practices that India can learn from


Recommended reading: Commercial Health Insurance in India – Status and Challenges – by Sowmini Prasad & Indradeep Ghosh


Social Health Insurance – The Broken Promise of Employee State Insurance (ESI)
Friday, November 27th, 16:30 – 17:45 IST

Even though ESI is a great scheme on paper, there are significant problems with its implementation and therefore its effectiveness. In this webinar, our panellists will offer their thoughts on the current state of ESI and what needs to change in order for the scheme to truly deliver on its promise. A key focus of the webinar will be to bring forward and explore the beneficiary’s perspective on ESI – a perspective that is often missing in the public discourse on ESI. 


Recommended reading: Employee State Insurance Scheme – Performance and Potential Pathways for Reform – by Sowmini Prasad & Indradeep Ghosh


PMJAY: Getting it to punch above its (fiscal) weight
Wednesday, February 24th, 17:30 – 18:30 IST
  • The design and structure of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)
  • Comparison to other international models of publicly funded health insurance programs: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam
  • The capacity of the Indian state to deliver on PMJAY’s promises
  • Pathways for reforming PMJAY


Recommended reading: Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY): The Scheme and its Potential to Reform India’s Healthcare System – by Sowmini Prasad