Ajoy Khandheria, Founder, Gramin Healthcare (GH), explains how GH model will help to improve healthcare delivery in villages and make it economically viable
How did the concept of Gramin Healthcare evolve? How do you think it will help to change the rural healthcare scenario in the country?
Gramin Healthcare (GH) aims to provide institutional healthcare to the underserved. Mostly, the underserved in rural areas are farmers. We wanted to provide them with consistent quality care and this passion made us to develop the concept of GH. We were fortunate to get a lot of positive feedback from patients which helped us in our quest to deliver consistent healthcare in rural India.
We want to further enhance our model with a insurance or packaged primary care service for rural India, which will encourage them to take advice and thus promote wellness. Our main aim is to encourage patients to reach out to institutional care such as ours instead of marginal medical care from existing providers who may or may not be qualified.
Can you elaborate on the partnership with the cooperative fertiliser major IFFCO?
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO), is a partner to our healthcare initiative as well as a shareholder. This partnership has allowed us to scale up fast. GH has a shop in shop within IFFCO bazaar. This has increased the patient trust and helped the patient acquisition at a lower cost. IFFCO also provides us corporate governance and great insights on the behaviour and needs of the farmer.
How many farmers have been benefited by GH? What are your expansion plans?
We are currently serving six states and hope to penetrate these states deeper. The current run rate of patients we support is around 18,000 per month. We have treated over 150,000 patients till date.
How does your primary centres function? What facilities do you offer? Tell us about the health cards you have introduced?
GH is a company, which focusses on making affordable and accessible healthcare to rural and semi-urban areas of India, we would want to serve at the grass-root level, wherever there are less or no healthcare services.
Our aim is to provide timely medical advice and advanced diagnostics through manned and digitised healthcare centres by bringing the best of both worlds, that is, human intervention and advanced technology. GH has created a scalable model which involves conducting diagnostics tests on ground and using modern technology to get real-time medical consultation from qualified doctors. These centres offers following services:
- Blood pressure diagnosis
- Diabetes diagnosis
- Eye care
- Haemoglobin and pregnancy tests
- Women health and hygiene
Health cards are prepaid cards issued for a period of one year for the entire family. It offers product discounts, free tests, secondary healthcare services through partner hospitals.
Give us details about the ICT used by GH, particularly the tele-diagnostics kit and other innovative digital technology used to connect doctors and patients? Do you have only virtual doctors, specialists apart from the team of nurses deployed on the ground?
The GHC platform is an end-to-end telemedicine solution that connects patients, ANM, nurses, doctors and stakeholders to facilitate complete patient treatment fulfilment from physical diagnosis to regular follow ups later.
While doing so, it collects the most comprehensive and invaluable Electronic Health Records (EHR) that include patient vitals, medicine history, allergy history and any previous medical test/ treatment records the patient may have undergone in the past.
Does GH play the catalyst role by helping the ASHAs, ANMs in villages? If yes,how.
GHC creates better job opportunities for frontline workers (ANM, SNM, ASHA) where we provide training to these professionals and upgrade the existing skill sets, providing them with higher income. They also bring a connect to the farmers, which helps us to get patient trust.
What is your view on converting the primary health centres into wellness centres under Ayushman Bharat- National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)?
We think we are very complimentary to the NHPS. We hope that in future, we shall assist the government run PHC’s effectively and provide consistent quality healthcare to the farmers.
What are your future investment plans? How are you going to raise the amount for the said investment? Do you plan to go for any tie-ups?
We will continue to invest as required to scale up and grow our reach. We are in dialogue with a few investors, both, financial investors and strategic investors. Additionally, we are constantly evaluating partnerships in products and services that are complimentary and will help enhance the service we offer to our patients.