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Do the Poor or the Rich Benefit More From Government Health Services? The Case of India

Ajay Mahal and Adam Wagstaff, July 11, 2000.

The seminar reported on a benefit-incidence study of government health services that Ajay Mahal and his colleagues had undertaken with support from the Bank’s New Delhi field office. Principal findings included greater benefits to the rich than the poor from Government health service expenditures for India as a whole; larger rural poor-rich inequalities; large interstate variations with larger inequalities in poorer states; financial benefits from primary and outpatient health care are better distributed than those from hospital care and that the immunization services appears to be fairly evenly distributed. Commentator Adam Wagstaff opened the ensuring floor discussion by noting that many of the Indian findings reported by Ajay were similar to those found in benefit-incidence studies in other countries.

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