Engaging the private sector for health SDGs: lessons from India’s National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme

With the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals taking centre stage as 2030 nears, it is imperative to look at models to engage the private sector in healthcare delivery. India’s National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP) has taken a lead in mobilising the private sector, using a patient-centric approach to manage tuberculosis (TB). The Indian TB elimination model allows patients in the private sector access to government-sponsored drugs and diagnoses. Taking a holistic approach, NTEP works with local organisations to map and engage private healthcare providers, pharmacies, and diagnostic centers in a common effort to tackle the spread of TB. Patients are also offered diagnostic services and medicines free of cost. This private sector approach to dealing with TB is aligned with the major aspects of urban primary healthcare and is flexible, innovative, and adaptable. At the same time, because of its primary healthcare–oriented foundations, this partnership model offers a service delivery solution that can also address a wider range of essential health service issues and be successfully used for dealing with other infectious diseases.