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The latest study proposes that Indian voters prioritize health more than previously assumed.


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The common belief among researchers and observers of Indian elections has been that voters in India do not view health as an important electoral issue.

New research from the King’s India Institute and partners suggests that this assumption is incorrect and that health influences voting decisions, especially at the state level.

An empirical survey of Indian voters conducted by Lokniti, the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, revealed that health is one of the three priority areas for voters. While not the deciding factor, it ranks alongside education and employment. Voters from poor and marginalized backgrounds were also more likely to identify health as a top priority.

“It has long been assumed that low political prioritization of health in India reflects a lack of voter demand. This study demonstrates that when we deconstruct the idea of ​​’development’, voters see health as a critical component of the fortunes of their families and members of their local area. For older voters and those from More disadvantaged backgrounds, they loom as a greater priority,” says Professor Louise Thelin, principal investigator and professor of policy.

Researchers found that voters who see improvements in public health services are 10% more likely to vote for the ruling party in statewide elections than voters who see no change or deterioration in health services. However, voting decisions in elections at the national level appear to be less affected by the perceived performance of government hospitals.

Many voters were also unclear about which level of government—local, state, or national—was responsible for the state of health care services, although 80% of voters said it was the government’s responsibility to provide health care.

Most (37%) correctly identify state governments with responsibility for hospital management, but a significant number attribute responsibility to all three levels (21%), central government (14%) or local government (17%).

“The findings suggest that governments at the state level already have incentives to invest in health services, given latent voter demand and the potential for electoral rewards. However, unclear attribution may blur lines of accountability with voters unsure about who is being attributed or dumped.” Blame improvements in the health system,” says Professor Louise Thelin.

The survey involved face-to-face interviews with 1,522 citizens in five Indian states—Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh—conducted from March to April 2022. It sought to answer four broad questions: How much do voters care about their health? How satisfied are voters with the provision of health services in India? Who do voters condemn (or blame) for the provision of health services? Does health care affect voting decisions?

The results of the study have been published in Lokniti-CSDS website and in Hindu.

Provided by King’s College London

the quote: New Research Suggests Health Is a Bigger Concern for Indian Voters Than Previously Thought (2023, April 26) Retrieved April 26, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-health-larger-indian- voters-presently .programming language

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