While, undoubtedly, public investment in healthcare must increase, the government must also accept the presence of the private sector and formulate policies to minimise distortions, former Union Health Secretary Sujatha Rao has said. Essential to this plan is increasing substantially public investment to provide universal access to basic care. At the same time, it is important for the government to play the role of a price stabiliser. This would involve setting standards — quality assurance, accreditation, and certification for which minimum standards must be in place. She was delivering a lecture on ‘Public Health Financing' organised by CHARTERED, Voluntary Health Services, Chennai.