ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Public Health Facilities in North India

An Exploratory Study in Four States

Following the introduction of universal access to free medicines and diagnostics at public health facilities in Rajasthan during 2011-13, we revisited the facilities surveyed by Banerjee et al (2004), and present the changes over the last decade. We find substantial improvement in infrastructure and the patient utilisation rate, but abysmally low utilisation of facilities primarily due to high absenteeism. We also present findings from fieldwork in Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to bring out striking contrasts among these four northern states.

We thank Jean Drèze, Nidhaanjit Jain, Sandesh Lokhande and Sonal Matharu for help in designing and implementing the study. We also thank Abhijit Banerjee for sharing data from the Udaipur health study. Several local organisations, especially Aastha (Udaipur) and Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan (Araria), helped with logistics.

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