The 30 PHCs involved in this pilot project reported vastly improved service numbers in the first six months alone INCREASE IN PATIENTS ACCESSING OPD INCREASE IN INSTITUTIONAL DELIVERIES Also involved are ex-government officials, such as R.K. Meena, who served as the chief medical and health officer for the district of Sawai Madhopur. Dr Meena now heads the PHC at Bharoti. In his words, progress has been nothing short of “drastic”. The Bharoti PHC now reportedly serves over 2,000 patients, including 200 in-patient admissions every month.
Another aspect of the PPP relates to new technology. Speaking to
in July, Chief Minister Raje said that she was impressed with the sheer range of innovation WISH had to offer, including a non-invasive, smartphonebased test for haemoglobin levels and a mobile pathology lab that is equipped to perform 37 different kinds of tests at a fraction of the current cost (see box: A Wish Fulfilled). In addition, WISH is also increasing the ‘active’ component of healthcare: free ambulances for expecting mothers, follow-up visits for two months after birth, as well as roving ‘auxiliary nursing midwives’ who bring PHC healthcare services to village homes. “I could sense lot of innovative ideas in technology,” CM Raje said, “and in the way health services should be managed.”
However, many remain sceptical. “The real challenge will come when [it] is extended to the entire health system,” says Amit Mehta, a Hisar-based alumnus of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (Delhi), who runs a multi-speciality hostpital in the state. He believes that unless private companies have a sense of public service, this could devolve into a mere moneymaking enterprise. Nagendra Sharma, a neuro-surgeon and president of the association of medical practitioners in Jodhpur, says the same, adding that the project could “serve a death blow to national [health] programmes”. Nonetheless, CM Raje evidently has great expectations of it. Given the history of this problem, as well as the scale, it is clearly going to be a long haul. That being said, if she manages to see it through to the end, the CM will have achieved something that few politicians have managed so far: she will have genuinely improved the lot of the common man.
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