Global best practices for public healthcare:

  • Experiences from Argentina and Brazil, and closer home in Kerala, show that the decentralization of healthcare to ULBs is beneficial. Ex: The probability of low birth weight, a key health outcome, fell by 23% in Argentina

Swedish Model

    • Private and public health facilities compete for government funding and the right to provide healthcare to citizens.
    • There are incentives for providing the quickest and cheapest treatment.
    • It is a level playing field, and if the government health facility does not provide quality service, it stands to lose out

Thailand Model

    • Thailand’s Universal Health Coverage has earned global appreciation.
    • Public and private hospitals are treated on a par, and the beneficiary chooses where she goes.

Canada Model

    • Medicare, which covers all Canadians, is publicly financed and privately run.
    • Medical practitioners must only charge fees fixed by governments

Cuba’s Healthcare system:

    • The Cuban health system is recognized worldwide for its excellence and its efficiency.
    • Cuba’s health care system is based on preventive medicine and the results achieved are outstanding. Despite extremely limited resources and the dramatic impact caused by the economic sanctions imposed by the United States for more than half a century, Cuba has managed to guarantee access to care for all segments of the population and obtain results similar to those of the most developed nations.
    • The Cuban healthcare system, borne out of its revolutionary socialist ideology, regards accessibility to healthcare as a fundamental right of its citizens. It focuses heavily on a preventative approach to medicine and offering the simplest check-up to the most complex surgery, free of charge. Dental care, medicines and even home visits from doctors are all covered by the system.
    • The centrepiece of this system is the community-based polyclinic, each of the 498 nationwide serving a catchment area of between 30 000 and 60 000 people.
    • The polyclinics act also as the organizational hub for 20 to 40 neighbourhood-based family doctor-and-nurse offices, and as accredited research and teaching centres for medical, nursing and allied health sciences students. These are the backbone of Cuba’s health system.


    • The government-funded Social Health Insurance (SHI) and private insurance cover almost 99% of the population.
    • The government delegates regulation and governance to the SFs and medical providers’ associations.
    • The Social Health Insurance is operated by more than 200 competing Sickness Funds (SFs).
    • These are self-governing, nonprofit, non-governmental organisations.
    • And are funded by compulsory wage-based contributions, matched by employers.
    • The patient chooses her SF and provider, who cannot refuse her.