A comprehensive picture of provider coalitions in health policy making remains incomplete because of the lack of empirically driven insights from low- and middle-income countries. The authors examined the politics of provider coalitions in the health sector in Karnataka, India, by investigating policy processes between 2016 and 2018 for developing amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act. Through this case, they explore how provider associations function, coalesce, and compete and the implications of their actions on policy outcomes. They conducted in-depth interviews, document analysis, and nonparticipant observations of two conferences organized by associations. They found that provider associations played a major role in drafting the amendments and negotiating competing interests within and between doctors and hospital associations. Despite the fragmentation, the associations came together to reinterpret the intentions of the amendments as being against the interests of the profession, culminating in a statewide protest and strike. Despite this show of strength, provider associations only secured modest modifications. This case demonstrates the complex and unpredictable influence of provider associations in health policy processes in India. The authors' analysis highlights the importance of further empirical study on the influence of professional and trade associations across a range of health policy cases in low- and middle-income countries.

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