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Submitted by Anil Swarup on
I am compelled to join this well informed debate on public vs private role in providing health care. In my limited understanding, both public and private institutions have a role to play in providing health care in India. In fact, the RSBY rides on the premises of public private partnership yet attempting to empower the beneficiary with not only an entitlement but, more importantly, a choice (empowerment to choose from 7000 odd public and private hospitals). It does not mean that it would militate against public investment in health care ( the insurance model for OPD care is yet to be evolved). Hence, there is no contradiction between what is happening under NRHM ( where the focus is on strenghtening public health infrastructure) and RSBY (where, as mentioned earlier, there is an attempt to provide a choice). RSBY is an unusual experiment on a large scale. The initial independent evaluations have revealed a consumer satisfaction of 90%. However, this is just a begining. Only time will reveal whether this can sustained in the long run.