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Quiver celebrated Gandhi Jayanti and Dussehra, by organizing the “Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Award.” more...

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Rural health care has the unique and pervasive distinction of increasing the vulnerabilities of villagers already susceptible to slipping below the red mark of the poverty line. In some ways, falling sick in rural families could be considered tantamount to death, as 25% of the rural populace requiring intensive healthcare is pushed below the poverty line in its quest for treatment.
Quiver Ambulance
Accordingly, this has resulted in the breakdown of health care in rural areas, particularly as the population explodes. A sparsely populated rural health care chain which may have sufficed earlier is now being called into question with a large-scale rise in income, quality demanded, and ability to deliver on-the-spot diagnostics. In the last 50 years, in one way or the other, we have been pumping money to give life support to a decadent structure. The inconsistency of quality and personnel available through panchayat-based government primary health care centers compounds the dependence of local communities on basic care; in turn, health insurance companies are wary of stepping into rural India for the lack of preventive care.

While commercialization is a concern for the increasing divide between the haves and the have-nots, it also opens doors to technology with which outreach can be extended, and thus allowing healthcare to cater to a wider segment of the population. With the increase in volumes, economies of scale would push the cost down and make the quality provision of health care available. This would in turn ensure that sickness is limited with the promotion of preventive care.

Surveys conducted by Drishtee, our primary partner, have studied the medical expenses met by individual households. The analysis of the surveyed data has revealed that around 60% of households in each income segment consider their monthly medical expenses as “medium” or “high.” This high medical cost signifies the need for feasible and workable solutions that can considerably reduce the medical cost of rural people, as well as provide better services.

Quiver's healthcare initiative strives to "develop a social and technological platform through which an end-to-end solution can be developed." This initiative is committed to ensuring the sustainable provision of healthcare through a subscription model -- tackling preventive health and delivering relevant and affordable services to villagers in India.

As a parent company to Quiver, Drishtee has nearly 4000 kiosks in rural India. The basic infrastructure for health care will be facilitated by the Drishtee kiosk owner (KO) through a hospital-trained health franchisee. This health franchisee will then promote the concept of health care, as well as deliver basic diagnostic services to their village. The proof of concept will be developed through the creation of a trained network of health franchisees operating alongside current Drishtee kiosks.

Operating in a rural environment requires an understanding of working within and learning from a close-knit community’s psychology, expectations, and constraints in order to design services that are relevant, accessible and affordable for all. In a health context, any successful initiative must be founded on a community-backed individual who is equally supported by a community-wide understanding of health education issues. This type of engagement will not only help to promote health education, but will do so in a way that creates a robust market for the franchisee to:

  • Relate this information into better health awareness and practices
  • Channel these practices and awareness into related health and hygiene products

Through this, the franchisee would expect to build a business out of the sale of on-the-spot diagnostics, in addition to retail products that would generate local employment and build trust in a community to look at services which would not otherwise be offered.

Built on a franchise and partnership model, Quiver proposes to initiate rural health services through the following players:

Health franchisee: Will operate a self-health facility out of her home to offer basic outpatient care, including first-aid and several essential diagnostic tests. This will also include elements of educational promotion to lay the groundwork for additional services offered through the health franchisee at later stages of her business’ development.

Kiosk Operator: Will provide the initial community link to identify villages, shortlist franchisee candidates and support initial business development efforts of the franchisee.

Quiver and Drishtee: As the primary facilitator, Quiver’s role is to develop the concept, design the service, and provide the back-end logistics in order to utilize Drishtee as the network platform in the field.

Health Insurance Companies: Has to take risk by investing in a predominantly rural portfolio. The quality of preventive health care, and efficiency of medical care post sickness has to be maintained while understanding flexible rural needs, and incomplete knowledge about healthcare and insurance.

Block or District-level Health Centres: The RHC will form the medical (certified) link between the health franchisees and the secondary care.

In its quest to bring quality healthcare to rural India, Quiver is looking to decentralize the provision of primary healthcare by supporting and training women entrepreneurs to educate their community and provide basic outpatient care. In this model, the entrepreneur will be linked up with doctors stationed at local healthcare centres or hospitals at the district headquarters. Under this initiative, the participating franchisees will be supported through a diagnostic equipment loan to make critical services available to villagers on a nominal fee-for-service basis. Other services available will be first aid, telephonic consultations with a district-based hospital, and health-related retail products.

Advantages of Quiver's rural health initiative:

  • Increased health awareness and education to address preventive care – resulting in village savings
  • Decrease in health risks and mortality because of regular health check ups
  • Villagers benefited as risk is covered to prevent drainage of capital
  • Individual franchisee investment to create ownership and ease community’s health access
  • Risk covered for insurance companies
  • Database of registered villagers maintained at the kiosks for further future reference
  • Creation of a standardized network through which additional services and modes of delivery (through technology) can be tested and delivered.

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