Improving the standards of primary healthcare for low-income population across India

Low income patients in India today face three challenges when trying to avail primary healthcare services: limited geographical access to centers where they can receive care, their inability to afford treatment at these centers, and the poor quality of care they receive there.

Firstly, patients’ access to care is limited due to the shortfall in primary centers presently available. The number of primary health centers and sub-centers presently functioning are respectively 22% and 18% lower than the number required to adequately cater to India’s primary care need.

The second challenge lies in the ability of patients to afford treatment. Patients are almost ~3.5 times more likely to visit a private clinic for their primary health needs,where they spend ~2x the amount spent at primary centers. Together, patients end up spending a large amount of money out-of-pocket to avail basic healthcare.

Lastly, the quality of primary health services at centers is lacking due to gaps in human resources (~25% of primary health centers don’t have doctors), issues with drug supplies and an absence of an outcome focus at these centers.

Given these gaps in the Indian primary care ecosystem, an innovative finance instrument supporting service providers in this area has the potential to create an immense amount of impact.

KOIS is supporting a European foundation to landscape business models and opportunities in primary care. As part of this landscaping process, KOIS has evaluated multiple innovative models and players who are either delivering primary care directly or supporting the delivery of better care.

KOIS is engaged with multiple for-profit and not-for-profit players working either independently or with different government agencies to deliver high quality primary care services to low-income patients across India. We are evaluating opportunities to support these providers through different innovative financing instruments, to solve their financing challenges and ensure regular, uninterrupted service delivery.

"With the increasing penetration of internet services in rural India and rising smartphone adoption among users, we will see new, innovative models and players emerging in the area of primary care delivery that can rapidly scale across large sections of the population and deliver substantial impact”

Abhishek Kapoor, Senior Analyst, KOIS Mumbai

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