Healthcare in India is characterised by increasing out of pocket expenses and increasing chronic disease prevalence despite continued efforts to improve access and quality of healthcare. The burden of certain diseases and disabilities fall disproportionately on weaker sections, contributing to the health disparities seen among some sections in our society.
Moreover, access to healthcare services in India is significantly weighted to urban areas. In a country where most of our population lives in rural areas, this means that much of our population is significantly underserved when it comes to even primary healthcare.
Without exploring and implementing new models for meeting the population’s health needs, the existing healthcare system will continue to struggle in delivering adequate and equitable health services. Moreover, access to health care and equitable distribution of health services are the fundamental requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the targets set under the National Health Mission (NHM).
In recent times, Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) are believed to be an innovative model of healthcare delivery that could help alleviate health disparities in vulnerable populations and individuals with chronic diseases. Indeed, some studies have concluded that MMUs are particularly impactful in the following contexts: offering urgent care, providing preventative health screenings, and initiating chronic disease management. By opening their doors directly into communities and leveraging existing community assets, MMUs can offer tailored, high-impact and affordable health care that responds dynamically to the community’s evolving needs.
The Hans Foundation’s Mobile Medical Units Program strives to reach out to the most underdeveloped and inaccessible areas of the country to provide quality primary healthcare, referral services as well increase awareness and drive behaviour change for healthier communities. Currently we are operating MMUs in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, with plans to expand in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland in the near future.
Each MMU is led by a qualified medical MBBS doctor and supported by a qualified nurse, a pharmacist, a lab technician, and a driver. In addition, there is a Health Worker situated at the village level (1 Health Worker for 2 villages).