In late September 2016, the government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) held a rather unusual meeting in Lucknow. A motley combination of doctors and entrepreneurs from nonprofits, hospitals and venture capital funded-startups had gathered for what looked like an interesting experiment in outsourcing. A word that rings a bell in tech but not in healthcare. That the world’s largest and richest charity, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was involved, added a sincere and reassuring flavour to a state government invitation. And it was about outsourcing primary healthcare in 11 centres.
People were called to thrash out the nitty-gritty of a proposal for international competitive bidding that would be officially floated.