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New Delhi; September 24, 2014

12th India Infrastructure Report: The Road to Universal Health Coverage released by Dr. Rajiv Lall

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September 24, 2014, New Delhi : IDFC’s annual publication, the India Infrastructure Report 2013|14: The Road to Universal Health Coverage, was released by Dr. Rajiv Lall, Executive Chairman, IDFC, in New Delhi today. The result of a collaborative effort led by the IDFC Foundation, this Report provides a forum for free, frank and open exchange of views necessary to arrive at innovative and workable solutions across various infrastructure sectors that would find acceptance among various stakeholders. Twelfth in the series, since 2001, the India Infrastructure Report 2013|14 brings together a range of insightful perceptions of academics, researchers and practitioners committed to improving healthcare practices.

A large part of the Indian population today has little or no access to good quality healthcare at affordable prices. Not surprisingly, on several of the basic health indicators India ranks amongst the lowest in the world. The health crisis is aggravated by a rising incidence of chronic and non-infectious diseases. The public health system is in jeopardy, due to decades of appallingly low public investments; inadequate and antiquated infrastructure; severe shortage of human resources; and inadequacies in government policies. Failed public health systems have forced people to turn to the private sector, which is costly and unregulated, with services often being provided by unqualified medical practitioners. As a result, people seeking healthcare services have the agonising choice between poor quality public facilities and costly, yet undependable private services. Preventive and primary healthcare have been marginalised, with the focus having shifted to curative tertiary care, higher importance of clinical medicine, and extremely high dependence on clinical investigations. Health expenditures can be prohibitively high with the rural population and the urban poor being the worst sufferers. India is thus faced with the daunting challenge of providing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and ensuring that all people receive good quality healthcare without facing significant financial difficulty. India Infrastructure Report 2013|14 looks at the challenges for ensuring availability, accessibility, affordability and quality of comprehensive healthcare to all, and explores strategies to overcome the impediments along the road to UHC. In this process, it also discusses whether initiatives taken to reduce the burden of people’s health expenditure has yielded desirable results, how to leverage the strengths of the private sector in healthcare delivery, role played by the non-state entities in rural healthcare, imperatives of engaging with the community and the high impact of preventive care at low cost. The Report draws the readers’ attention to some of the emerging issues in the health sector such as rising burden of non-communicable diseases and mental health, human resource crisis in health sector and health concerns of informal sector workers, and steps required to attend to them within the UHC framework.

About IDFC Foundation
IDFC Limited (formerly Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited) was incorporated in 1997 as India’s first specialised infrastructure-financing intermediary in order to address the growing requirements of the various infrastructure sectors. IDFC’s mandate was to lead private capital flows to commercially viable infrastructure projects. Having successfully played its role in promoting private investment in infrastructure over the last 16 years, IDFC would now enlarge its footprint in the financial services sector after receiving ‘in-principle’ approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up universal banking operations. In keeping with its mission of ‘being the leading knowledge-driven financial services platform, creating enduring value, promoting infrastructure and nation building, in India’, IDFC has been carrying out its development agenda under the rubric of the IDFC Foundation. IDFC Foundation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IDFC Limited and a not-for-profit company within the meaning of Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. IDFC Foundation, since its inception, has been involved in policy advocacy and research, programme support, capacitybuilding and community engagement programmes. IDFC Foundation's activities are aimed at promoting inclusive growth, creating livelihood opportunities for the rural population and executing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Note to the Editors
Authors of the IIR 2013|14 are Imrana Qadeer (Council for Social Development), Prema Ramachandran (Nutrition Foundation of India), M.R. Madhavan (PRS Legislative Research), Mandira Kala (PRS Legislative Research), Indrani Gupta (Institute of Economic Growth), Samik Chowdhury (Institute of Economic Growth), Debasis Barik (National Council of Applied Economic Research), Sonalde Desai (National Council of Applied Economic Research), A. Venkat Raman (Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi), Poonam Madan (Inesa Advisory Services Pvt Ltd), Anil Cherian (Jonglei Institute of Health Sciences), Rev. Mathew Abraham (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India), Rev. Tomi Thomas (Catholic Health Association of India), Priya John (Christian Medical Association of India), Mercy John (School of Nursing, Christian Hospital), Santosh Mathew Thomas (Emmanuel Hospital Association), Anuvinda Varkey (Christian Coalition for Health), Abhijit Das (Centre for Health and Social Justice), Nishant Jain (GIZ), Vikram Jit Singh Chhatwal (MediAssist India), Sakthivel Selvaraj (Public Health Foundation of India), Aashna Mehta (Public Health Foundation of India), Giridhara R. Babu (Public Health Foundation of India), Raveesha R. Mugali (UNICEF), Vivek V. Singh (Public Health Foundation of India), Ambrish Dongre (Centre for Policy Research), Aradhana Srivastava (Public Health Foundation of India), Sanghita Bhattacharyya (Public Health Foundation of India), Bilal Avan (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Jacob Puliyel (St Stephens Hospital), Sailesh Mohan (Public Health Foundation of India), D. Prabhakaran (Centre for Chronic Disease Control), Rahul Shidhaye (Clinical Psychiatrist), Vikram Patel (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Charu C. Garg (Institute for Human Development), Krishna D. Rao (Johns Hopkins University), Sudha Ramani (Indian Institute of Public Health), Gautam Sen (Wellspring Healthcare Ltd.)

For further details, please contact:

Mr. Arun Raste
IDFC Limited
Tel: + 91 22 4222 2019


Mr. Sambit Basu
IDFC Foundation
Tel: + 91 97177 04039




Minister of Rural Development

"I think over a period of time this India Rural Development Report should be the same importance in policy and scholarly debate as the World Bank’s World Developmental Report or the UNDP’s Human Development Report or the Center for Science and Environment’s State of India’s Environment Report."
"What are the forces of change.what is happening in rural society. this is very, very important for us to understand and that objective has been admirably fulfilled in this report.Ritu and her colleagues have put together all the evidence which shows in a very robust manner, the changing nature of rural [livelihoods].everyone must read the Rural Dynamics chapter"


Member, Planning Commission

"I must congratulate IDFC Foundation for bringing out the first rate Report. . is a landmark contribution to scholarship in rural India .. really an outstanding Report..."


Executive Chairman,

"It has been really a labour of love and tremendous effort and has been really a unique enterprise both in process and scope"