Community Based Healthcare Centres
Accessibility of care remains a major challenge worldwide despite remarkable progress in healthcare technology and innovation. This is particularly true in the context of the rural population and underprivileged and economically weaker sections of the society in the developing and under-developed nations.
The Indian Healthcare System is no exception to this as nearly 67% of its people reside in villages or remote areas. Additionally, more than 20% of the citizens are below the poverty line here. Thus, Healthcare Operations Management in India faces severe hurdles in its day-to-day tasks for integrating access to primary healthcare, pharmacy, mental health, substance abuse and oral care services and ensuring affordable treatment is dispensed to one and all.
Interestingly, Community Based Healthcare Centres (CBHCs) provide a reliable solution to this huge dilemma. These centres are organizations that function with the aim of providing primary healthcare services to the individuals, families and communities and are not profit-based. Their services predominantly include dental care, allied health, nursing services, counselling and health promotion activities.
CBHCs are patient-centric and focus on delivering comprehensive, competent and cost-effective quality care for patients irrespective of geographic, linguistic and economic barriers. Their services are largely focused on the local population who face greater risk of poor health and have genuine social and economic needs.
Goals of CBHCs
The services of CBHCs are rendered with the goal of raising the health status and overall well-being of the society by
- Encouraging everyone to participate in their own healthcare by increasing awareness
- Enabling the services so that they are easily accessible by the target population
- Making a continuous assessment of the community health needs and providing technical assistance for care program delivery
- Coordinating with other primary health care providers including general practitioners and clinical entities for delivering high-quality treatment and facilities to improve patient satisfaction
- Linking with other service providers, agencies and healthcare consulting firms to bridge the gaps in service levels by utilizing their professional expertise and experience
- Ensuring that individuals and groups make active participation in the centre’s activities for planning, volunteering, organizational governance and sourcing funds
- Promoting preventive aspects of healthcare mainly for lifestyle-related ailments and conditions
- Developing programs and campaigns to improve the social and physical environments by better hygiene and healthcare standards
- Primary Healthcare Services
- Clinical treatment, medical and nursing services
- Counselling and support
- Health awareness and promotion events
- Dental health
- Allied services like nutrition and diet, audiology, podiatry, physical fitness and various forms of therapy including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy
- Secondary Healthcare Services
- Senior care
- Preventive/Corrective measures for resolving alcohol addiction, smoking and substance abuse
- Maternity and child care
- Mental health
- Caretaker Respite
- Care for disabled and handicapped persons
- Outreach services
- Assisting self-help groups
- Additional Support Services
- Cross-Culture care supported in multiple languages
- Health education on sex and Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs)
- Prevention and treatment for domestic violence
- Parental training
- Guidance for handling teenage problems
- Anti-racism programs
- Mentoring children and youth who have dropped out of schools and colleges
Funding and Fees of CBHCs
The majority of the operating funds for CBHCs come from government or federal grants. Other sources of income could include public donations, private insurance, patient fees and monetary support from public insurance companies.
Healthcare services of CBHCs are available for everyone regardless of the income though some affordable charges are levied. The fees charged is based on the patient’s ability to pay and can be waived or negotiable. Cardholders get a heavy subsidy on the treatment costs.
Thus CBHCs improve population health standards and effectively treat patients with multiple needs by using standardized care practices and overcoming cultural boundaries.