Is incentive-based pay for India’s community health workers working?

by Sophie Bader
Devex, 27 June 2017

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India’s 800,000 community health workers form the backbone of the country’s vast health care system. Apart from its size, what sets India’s vast network of so-called Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) apart is how they are paid. ASHAs receive only outcome-based remuneration based on how many patients they serve and the specific targets they meet. Incentivized pay can be a powerful tool, motivating workers to reach out to those in need and offering services aligning to national goals. Yet in some cases, advocates worry that the incentivized pay may be encouraging behaviour that doesn’t put the patient’s interests first.

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