Topic – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
5) Critically examine whether making healthcare affordable through capping of prices would solve the problem of Out of Pocket Expenditure in health in India?(250 words)
Why this question
Capping or prices is a usual policy recourse of the government in trying to make healthcare more affordable. However, such quick fixes raises more questions than the answers it provide. Thus it is best to analyze whether this penchant of the government to cap prices helps in improving healthcare delivery and affordability.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to incorporate the following points in our answer
- Highlight the instances where price capping has been used as a tool
- Debate on the principles of such a move – whether capping of price is a well intentioned move which will make healthcare more affordable or whether it creates issues of quality, private sector apathy etc
- Conclude with your view
Critically examine – Here we have to get into the depth of price capping method of the government, examine its pros and cons, causes and impacts, views of all stakeholders and come to a fair and balanced stand.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – discuss some recent move by the government introduction price controls in healthcare and the debates that it raises.
- Highlight some of the instances of price capping – stents, medicines (NLEM) etc . Bring out the impacts of such a move
- Flowing from that discuss about the pros and cons of instituting price controls
- Discuss why the government goes for such a move and the impact it has on delivery of healthcare
- Identify some other steps that can be taken to ensure healthcare becomes more affordable
Conclusion – provide your view on the usefulness of price controls and the way forward.