Vikram Patel and colleagues are to be congratulated for their comprehensive review of India’s health conditions, programmes, and policies. Despite many shortcomings, there has been substantial progress. India’s high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates show sustained decline and life expectancy is increasing.
Some credit is due to increased national support since 2005, under the umbrella of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)/National Health Mission (NHM). States have accelerated efforts to generate demand for and strengthen supply of health services.
States have accelerated efforts to generate demand for and strengthen supply of health services. Patel and co-authors’ Review lists many new programme initiatives to improve the health of Indians. But their analysis also highlights the persisting grim arithmetic of unmet health needs, inequity of benefits, health-induced poverty, and weaknesses in government performance in India.
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