The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, capital of Gujarat in western India, is branching off into healthcare. Its first experimental effort has already received positive response.
The institute, thus far famed for its management education, has developed a model for improved urban health services in collaboration with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
The Urban Health Care (UHC) being set up by the IIM's Centre for Management of Health Services (CMHS) will be set up with a special focus on urban poor, living in slums and chawls.
Prof KV Ramani, coordinator of the Urban Health Project and the chairman of CMHS, along with Prof. Dileep Mavalankar have developed the concept.
Their model has already been implemented in the Vasna part of the capital and is getting a good response from the users.
The IIM-A model is based on extensive use of Geographic Information System (GIS) to locate urban health centres in each ward, to ensure availability, access, affordability and equity of healthcare services.
The new centre at present is receiving more than 100 outpatients daily. Majority of them are from the nearby slums and chawls who have so far depended on private healthcare or for want of a government facility in Vasna.
The suburb has a population of more than one lakh, with 40 per cent of the population living in slums and chawls.
According to Prof Ramani, the Vasna Urban Health Centre is the first of its kind in India providing a comprehensive line of services under one roof including consultation, lab and radiology services, medication, and referral services.
"The usual practice in any Outpatients Department (OPD) clinic in India is to refer the patients to private labs for investigation. Patients have to go in different directions for lab and radiology services, to give samples and then to collect reports. Patients therefore have to pay for transportation, besides that for reports. As a result, many of the poor were not undergoing any laboratory or radiology examinations. That trend is sought to be reversed now," he said.
In its next phase, the project will set up a maternity home in Naroda, which has a 90 per cent slum population but no government-run maternity homes in a three-kilometre radius. In its next phase, the project will set up a maternity home in Naroda, which has a 90 per cent slum population but no government-run maternity homes in a three-kilometre radius.
The UHC is result of partnership between IIM-A, Gujarat Cancer Society, Akhand Jyot Foundation and Saath.
In yet another IIM initiative, its students are taking time off their hectic schedule to educate street children.
Already Prayas, the organisation of IIM students claims to have notched up some success, enabling at least 17 children to move into well-equipped schools where quality education is offered.
Batches of 50 children are taught at Prayas by four permanent teachers and other volunteers, which include the wives of post-graduate students who live on campus. At end of their daily academic sessions, the students are given milk and biscuits.
Chandrika Shrimali, one of the teachers said, "We have seen these children transform in terms of discipline, mannerisms and conduct. Already we see dividends."