Independent Research and Policy Advocacy

Reform Pathways for
Healthcare Financing in India

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.

To this end, we can provide anonymised household data of a financial services provider focused on remote rural geographies in India. This customer database has rich information on demographic and economic parameters along with the historical data on uptake and usage of financial instruments offered by the provider. The provider covers approximately 400,000 clients spread over more than 200 branches across three Indian states.

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


Dr Cristian C. Baeza

Executive Director, International Center for Health System Strengthening


Dr Nachiket Mor

Visiting Scientist, The Banyan Academy of Leadership and Mental Health

Dr Niranjan Rajadhyaksha

Dr Niranjan Rajadhyaksha

Research Director and Senior Fellow, IDFC Institute


Bindu Ananth

Co-Founder & Chair, Dvara Trust

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


Malti Jaswal

Senior Consultant,
World Bank Group

Neelam Sekhri Feachem

Associate Professor, University of California

Sandeep Kumar

Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company


Dr Indradeep Ghosh

Executive Director, Dvara Research

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



Manish Sabharwal

Chairman and Co-Founder, Team Lease


Prof. Babu Mathew

National Law School of Indian University (NLSIU)

Mohan Mani

Prof. Mohan Mani

Centre for Workers Management & NLSIU



Govindraj Ethiraj

Founder, IndiaSpend

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



Ajay Tandon

Lead Economist,
World bank


Mekhala Krishnamurthy

Senior Fellow, Centre for
Policy Research

Owen Smith

Senior Economist, World Bank


John Langenbrunner

Senior Advisor for Financing and
Health Insurance