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Emerging Markets Theme Research Seminar: Tarun Khanna

Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 11:30am to 1:00pm

Sage Hall, B08
Johnson Graduate School-Management, 106 Sage Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-6201, USA

Registration Link:

Lancet Citizens’ Commission
Pathways to Universal HealthCare for India’s 1.3 billion

The Lancet Citizens’ Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System is a cross- sectoral research endeavor to lay out a policy roadmap to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) for India’s 1.3 billion, after 75 years of failed efforts.  A guiding principle for the Commission is that structural change towards UHC can only be attained through consultative and participatory engagement with the diverse sectors involved in health care and, most importantly, with India’s citizenry.

The Commission’s ‘big tent’ approach transcends traditional boundaries of expertise to actively engage stakeholders whose voices have rarely been heard in previous reports: those who deliver healthcare and those who receive it.  It is thus a Citizens’ Commission in as complete a sense as we can envisage. 

A consequence of this framing is that the Commission is explicitly confronting several hitherto-ignored schisms in the provision of Indian healthcare: between the public and private sectors in the delivery of care; between allopathic medicine and traditional medicine; between aficionados and sceptics of the role of technology in attaining UHC.

Our working hypothesis half-way through is that a (dramatic) shift in mental models at all levels is needed for India to be on a path towards UHC. Two overarching mindset changes include (a) Citizens shifting from being passive consumers of healthcare to an active and more informed participatory role, demanding access but also sharing responsibility and (b) Recognizing the role of the private sector in the health system and holding it accountable, rather than only relying on the state.

Tarun Khanna is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School. For over two decades, he has studied entrepreneurship as a means to social and economic development in emerging markets. At HBS since 1993, after obtaining degrees from Princeton and Harvard, he has taught courses on strategy, corporate governance and international business to MBA and Ph.D. students and senior executives.

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