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Social Justice | 

Re-imagining health systems

Image from workshop organised by Anusandhan Trust

The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively exposed the flaws of India's health system. It has highlighted the inadequacy of the under-resourced and under-developed public health system and the exploitative nature of the unregulated, commercialised private healthcare system. The public hospitals, with their poor staffing and facilities, were insufficient to cater to the requirements of COVID-19 patients, while the large corporate, private hospitals engaged in excessive overcharging and profiteering.

The differences in COVID-19 outcomes among major Indian states can be attributed to the effectiveness of their public health systems. Maharashtra, with one of the highest COVID-19 case fatality rates among Indian states, has an underdeveloped public health system with inadequate public health services, whereas Kerala has a much lower COVID-19 case fatality rate due to a robust public primary healthcare system.

The problem is the impact of official transnational development investments in the health sector on the access to healthcare for deprived and marginalised populations in India. Anusandhan Trust and its unit Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives (SATHI) has been studying and deconstructing these investments to understand their effects on health systems. Additionally, the Trust has been working in Maharashtra to promote strengthening public health systems and operationalising the Right to Healthcare. The goal is to shape policy discourse in the health sector towards a pro-people direction during the COVID recovery.

About Anusandhan Trust

SATHI (Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiative) is an action research center of Anusandhan Trust. SATHI partners with civil society organisations to work on health rights issues, and facilitates advocacy at the local, district, state and national levels. SATHI’s rights based approach promotes the perspective that it is essential to make public health systems accountable and responsive to public needs, through organised and sustained public action, instead of looking for substitutes, or replacements for them


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