The state of Assam has implemented Mobile Health Units to bring healthcare to the doorstep of rural people with basic diagnostics and specialists.
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched by the Government of India to address the deplorable state of rural health in the country. NRHM is set to run from 2007 to 2012 in all states of India to improve the availability of and access to quality health care by people, particularly for those residing in rural and remote areas, the poor, women and children.
The public health system in India has traditionally been marked by striking regional inequalities that have limited the proliferation of health care to certain parts and people of the country. Recognising this lacuna, the NRHM identified 18 high focus states in the country where there is a lack of basic healthcare infrastructure, thereby limiting access to primary health services. Assam is one of those states. The presence of many hard to reach areas in the state makes provision of the most basic health care services problematic.
Against this background, the Government of Assam introduced the Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) programme in November 2011 in 10 districts, gradually expanding the programme to all 27 districts of Assam. While nearly all states in the country have initiatives similar to MMUs today, it was Assam that came forward with the initiative to bring healthcare to the doorstep of rural people with basic diagnostics and specialists. The programme becomes even more significant considering the role of MMUs in the overall implementation of NRHM in the state. In April 2011, the mid-term review of NRHM adjudged Assam to be the best performing state among all north-eastern states in India.
This case study was published in November 2011.Download File