India is a welfare state in which the government has a responsibility to ensure than citizens have access to healthcare. We are also a federal state, with multiple levels of government, each with its own responsibility. The sixth item in the Constitution of India vests responsibility for 'Public Health and sanitation, hospitals and dispensaries' on the state governments. (Editorial)

Medical insurance is now being actively promoted by the government as a means of providing and covering the costs of healthcare. But such insurance is riddled with problems and faces some very India-specific constraints.