Tamil Nadu’s public health system

Report Overview:

  • Tamil Nadu’s success in public healthcare is well known, it being one among a handful of states to have achieved the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets of maternal and child mortality
  • However, it is not as well known that the real reason behind the state’s success does not lie in merely its public health expenditure, but more on the quality of its human resources in public health institutions. This brief studies Tamil Nadu’s model of creating and sustaining a strong system of health personnel – including doctors, nurses, paramedics etc. Special emphasis has been laid on the governance aspect of the model – including administrative, legislative and policy steps taken by the state.
  • Crucially, the Tamil Nadu model can be replicated in other parts of the country – as this brief further explores – provided other states also demonstrate the same vision and political will to do so.