Gramin Healthcare is India’s first start-up dedicated to support and bring primary health care services and access to specialist care in rural area through various health camps, collaborations and partnership with a global leader in health care services.
India is a growing economy and the agglomeration of resources through one channel is not a pragmatic approach, with around 700 million devoid of access to specialist care almost a million die every year due to inadequate health care facilities, we as a nation have worst case scenario in health care services.
This challenge is to cater the deserving underserved community of Tier 4 and below which need due attention. Public health services have done poorly even along the income distribution dimension. According to a study, the poorest 20% of the population captures only 10% of the public health subsidy compared with 30% by the richest 20%. The share in the subsidy rises monotonically as we move from the bottom 20%.The discrepancy and poor implementation of budget allocation have left a stark gap in rural and urban health care services. With India ascending the health care services on the tertiary level and becoming the new face of global medical tourism it dampens the zeal to notice the staggering figure of major gamut being unable to access affordable primary health care services which are necessary for the development of the nation .
Mr. Ajoy Khandheria an entrepreneur evangelist ,fueled with a passion for transforming the face of primary health care scenario took an initiative and laid the foundation of Gramin Healthcare with a simple vision to revolutionise the health care delivery mechanism and provide affordable services in the under-served market.
“Gramin Health Care and IFFCO teamed up to start an initiative with the purpose of enhancing the quality of life of people living in rural India by providing them with affordable and high quality medical services, life products & experiences closer to their homes.”, further says Ajoy.
In late 2016, after the initial success of Gramin’s first operational healthcare kiosk, the project caught the eye of IFFCO Group who saw an opportunity to partner with Gramin Health Care to provide affordable quality healthcare at their planned IFFCO Bazar Centres in 1000 locations pan India
It is a both manned and digitised healthcare clinic and anyone from the underserved community can walk in, get a proper diagnosis, a subsidized doctor consultation, and gain access to branded high quality reliable medicines through its advanced assisted medicine technology platform.
These kiosks have a nurse who conducts a physical examination and connects with the online doctor by live audio or video feed through GHC Tech Platform. The doctor, if required, can ask the nurse to connect the patient to a tele diagnostics kit which provides the live access of necessary patient vitals to the doctor through the platform who can then provide consultation and prescribe medicines if necessary. The whole process doesn’t take more than 15 minutes!
Fast forwarding it to present day, IFFCO and Gramin Health Care Joint Venture has opened more than 50 operational kiosks. These kiosks are located within IFFCO bazaar centres, in Tier 3 and Tier 4 rural areas and see 15-20 villagers walk in and leave everyday sharing their smiles and blessings.
“It wasn’t easy in the beginning”, as Sonia Vohra, Head of Operations puts it, “Given the price sensitivity of target audience, just to be able to break even a kiosk was a challenge. That said, by imparting patient education and awareness through Village Panchayats, hiring a local ANM and by participating in the social fibre of those villages, we managed to build an image of a quality but affordable healthcare provider. Also, IFFCO’s brand image helped.”
Gramin Health Care’s strategy too has evolved with time. Aayaam, Head of Strategy and Marketing further explained, “Initially, the focus was on kiosks and assisted medicine only, but soon we realised while kiosks would help in patient discovery and providing immediate primary diagnosis, a poor villager has to still travel 20 kilometres to get something as simple as an X-ray done or to get even basic nursing services.”
To this end, Gramin Health Care is in the process of opening its first Health Care Centre, an upgraded kiosk, that will have a fully equipped diagnosis lab, a pharmacy, a special care unit, overnight bed facility, eye care facility and access to all the basic hospital services.
Speaking about the technology behind Gramin, Aayaam mentioned that, although at a pillot stage, Gramin’s technology platform can connect patients with specialised doctors, pharmacies, diagnostic labs and insurance providers with a touch of a button.
“Every small detail in the process is recorded which becomes a part of the Electronic Health Record of a patient,” explains Aayaam.
Further, a patient’s electronic health care record, with the consent of the patient, can be shared with any interested party, such as, an insurance company, making the whole process completely cashless and paperless.
Currently, the team has over 1.3lac health records of patients spread across the country.
Apart from generating these invaluable health records, Ajoy and team plans to open 4000 kiosks and 1000 centres in next 5 years with a vision to provide quality healthcare to rural population at a cost they can afford, at a distance they can travel and with the dignity that they deserve.