Public Health: Policy, Planning and Program
1. Describe how policies have determined the architecture of the Indian â€˜health systemâ€™ 2. Critically analyse the impact of competing forces on allocation of health resources 3. global priority setting on the one hand vs. national and local priorities 4. Understand the design and implementation of major national health programs 5. Appreciate the complexities of translating policies into programs and how it plays out in different contexts 6. Understand the major constraints in the health sector, and why they need to be addressed in order to reach health sector goals 7. Make a comparative assessment of programs that have successfully overcome these constraints and their replicability
Major topics covered
Despite having established a large network of publicly financed and managed health facilities, Indiaâ€™s achievements in health and nutrition indicators have been poor. Indiaâ€™s health care system remains woefully inadequate in capacity, outreach, equity, and efficiency. The unregulated rise of the private medical industry adds to these woes; and the recent move to support private participation in the insurance sector seems like a simplistic solution that is likely to increase inequities. Knowledge and understanding of the health sector has developed along several dimensions: health financing, system-administration, policy development and programme implementation, involving both state and non-state players. Given the complexity of the health sector in India, and the diversity of the country as a whole, it is important to develop a holistic understanding of the public health system and how it functions. Specifically, the course will look at: (i) the evolution of a policy environment in public health, both globally and within the country; (ii) the structure of the Indian health system and its development in response to both policy and programmatic imperatives; (iii) the translation of plans into programs - whether and how they respond to policy priorities; and (iv) resource and other constraints faced by the health system and fresh approaches under consideration to address such challenges.