What We Do


THE CHALLENGE

The health care sector in India is plagued with poor infrastructure, long wait times, high diagnostic costs and extensive travel for treatment. While 78% of the Indian population resides in rural areas, only 2% of medical professionals are available in these areas. In the absence of any organized modern medical facilities, the rural poor fall victim to under qualified doctors in the vicinity of their homes, who extract large sums of money for even basic treatment. The only other alternative available is to travel to private hospitals located in urban areas, an activity which is both tedious and expensive. It is the gap in the availability of low cost primary health care that the innovation is striving to address.

THE INNOVATION

Rural Health Care Foundation aims to create a chain of clinics that provide high quality affordable out patient care in low-income densely populated regions of West Bengal, characterized by dearth of adequate quality primary health care. RHCF clinics provide an all in price health care service that is cheaper than that ultimately paid at a private clinic or in travelling long distances to access government clinics.

Rural Health Care Foundation has a sound and scalable business model with potential for delivering impact to low-income communities. The idea is to develop each rural centre as a self sustaining unit, so it may continue to deliver services without any external support.

The key elements of the Innovation are:
  • Each primary health care clinic is equipped with four departments namely General Medicine, Ophthalmology, Homeopathy and Dentistry (Emergency services are not provided). There is one doctor in each department and five support staffs assist them.
  • The patients are required to pay a one-time registration fee of Rs 60 in lieu of which they are offered diagnosis and a weeklong supply of medicines free of cost.
  • The centres identify needy patients and arrange for free cataract surgeries in collaboration with Rotary Eye Hospitals and free cleft lip/palate surgeries in collaboration with Smile Foundation.
  • In order to motivate doctors to continue in service they are provided free food and boarding facilities.
  • Patients are provided with spectacles at a subsidized rate along with required power glasses. Wheel chairs, blankets and crutches have also been distributed.