Possible topics for discussion:
A brief look at whether gender budgeting is essential for reducing gender disparities in health outcomes
A key concern most frequently mentioned in public discourse is the need to have a health system founded on the bulwark of a strong comprehensive primary health care system. Despite the need for such a comprehensive primary health care system, yet we are lagging – be it in terms of infrastructure or human resources. Is it then time to go back to basics and ask ourselves why we need to have primary health care at all? After all, what is the evidence to show that it is worth the resources and the policy attention it demands? Given the advances in technology, can we leap frog from sickness to a hospital without the intermediation of primary care? What sort of data should drive us to relook at policy options? These and other questions are proposed to be discussed.
This talk will provide an overview of evidence-based policy and the challenges faced in adopting evidence; it will discuss some of the issues and debates related to data in India especially in the context of health policy.
Sonia will discuss maternal mortality, maternal depression and domestic violence as aspects of women’s health, indicating spillover effects on the economic status of women, and on child development.
Indrani Gupta is Professor and Head, Health Policy Research Unit (HPRU) at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. HPRU – set up by her in 1998 – is the first of its kind in India. It remains among the few places in the country India that conducts policy-oriented research on the health sector using tools of economic analysis.
Professor Gupta’s work experience includes teaching and positions at academic institutes, the World Bank and the Government of India. Her areas of interest cover a wide range of topics in the area of health economics and policy, including demand for health and health care, health insurance and financing, poverty and health, costing and cost-effectiveness, economics of diseases, and international agreements.
She has a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA and a Masters in Economics from the University of Delhi.
K. Sujatha Rao served as Union Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the government of India until 2010, where she was involved in the first ever national program for non-communicable diseases; the process for a national policy for use of antibiotics; and introducing vaccines in public health. Previously she was Director General of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) from 2006-2009, where she was instrumental in establishing systems and building up NACO with a capacity to implement programs with a five-fold budget increase. She has represented India on boards of the WHO, Global Fund and UNAIDS. Ms. Rao was previously a Takemi Fellow for International Health at Harvard School of Public Health (1993). She is currently the first Gro Harlem Brundtland Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard School of Public Health.
Manoj Mohanan is Associate Professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, with secondary appointments in Department of Economics and Duke Global Health Institute. Prof. Mohanan’s research focuses primarily on economics of health and development, and health policy. His past research has examined topics including performance incentive contracts, public private partnerships, quality of care, social franchising, accountability interventions, and household health behavior across multiple countries. These studies have been published in several of the top journals in economics, health policy, and medicine. His research also contributed to early evidence on COVID from seroprevalence studies in India. His ongoing research aims to understand long term consequences of large scale disruptions caused by the pandemic and its effect on vulnerability of households. Mohanan was trained as a health economist at Harvard University’s Inter-Faculty PhD Program in Health Policy (Economics), and also holds additional degrees in public health (Harvard TH Chan) and medicine (Grant Medical College, Mumbai).
Sonia Bhalotra is an applied economist with research interests in the areas of skill creation, early childhood development, and health (including mental health) and her work seeks to understand the role of the family and of the legal and political environment. A large fraction of her work has an emphasis on gender.
She has held appointments at the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, and Essex. She is a Fellow of the International Economics Association, the UK Academy of Social Sciences, CEPR London, IZA Bonn, IEPS Brazil, and SFI Copenhagen. She has obtained BSc Honours in Economics at the University of Delhi and an MPhil and DPhil from the University of Oxford.