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Inequalities in Access to Health Care in Brazil and India: Closing the Gap for the Poorest-poor

In recent years, there has been an unprecedented growth in the national economies of the most populous countries particularly China, India and Brazil. However, the excessive wealth created through this rapid economic growth has been disproportionate, affecting mostly the poorest-poor living in rural and urban areas including metropolitan cities.

The overarching aim of this project is to develop a trilateral research network engaging demographers, social statisticians and economists from Brazil, India and the UK to carry out a quantitative investigation of the extent of inequalities in access to health care, how these change over time and the associated determinants, with an emphasis on the poorest-poor segment of the population living in Brazil and India.

The changes over time will be evaluated in terms of whether the gap in health care access between the rich and poor have widened or narrowed and the differences between and within different social/wealth groups - focusing on three vulnerable populations: young children, young and adult women of reproductive ages and elderly women.

Proper comparison of the Brazilian and Indian datasets will provide evidence of how health care policies and programmes have operated and evolved over time in narrowing health inequalities between the rich and the poorest-poor.