SAMRIDH – A VISION TO STRENGTHEN INDIA’S HEALTH SYSTEM

Savleen Kaur

PRESENT HEALTHCARE SCENARIO IN INDIA

With both government-run and commercial facilities offering medical services to the nation’s population of more than 1.3 billion, India’s healthcare system is intricate and multifaceted. The healthcare system still faces an array of problems- such as inadequate budget, a scarcity of healthcare
staff and inadequate infrastructure, despite substantial advancements in recent years.

While India’s healthcare industry has experienced rapid growth over the past five years, Covid-19 has highlighted enduring issues like a shoddy health system, subpar infrastructure, and poor service delivery to vulnerable populations. 3.6% of India’s GDP is spent on healthcare, including both private and state costs. State and federal spending totals 1.29% of GDP. In comparison to other developed and developing countries India’s share towards healthcare proves to be the least.

SAMRIDH: A STEP TOWARDS A PROGRESSIVE HEALTH ECOSYSTEM

SAMRIDH- Sustainable Access to Markets and Resources for Innovative Delivery of Healthcare is India’s first healthcare blended finance facility strengthening India’s health systems and solving emerging healthcare challenges.

The National Health Authority, Indian Institute of Technology, NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Sustainable Access to Markets and Resources for Innovative Delivery of Healthcare (SAMRIDH), and the National Health Authority are all partners in SAMRIDH. This programme aims to combine private investment with charitable and public money to increase funding for market-based health solutions that will increase the most vulnerable people in
India’s access to high-quality, affordable healthcare.

IS IT A PREREQUISITE FOR A BETTER FUTURE?

The COVID-19 epidemic has pressured the nation’s healthcare system and disrupted health services which have exposed weaknesses in the system’s capacity to meet new healthcare requirements. Additionally, the epidemic has opened up new markets and demand for several new services and health commodities began to gain traction. New technologies, digital health solutions, and creative care delivery methods are becoming more and more necessary and driving a large part of the nation’s demand.


Innovation is now at the forefront of the change in health systems. They are now more than ever acknowledged for their ability to offer novel solutions to difficult healthcare issues and revolutionise the Indian healthcare system.

Nevertheless, despite the promise that healthcare innovators and businesses offer for India’s health systems, they run into numerous structural obstacles as they attempt to get from “lab to market.” One of the most significant hurdles faced by the Indian healthcare industry is-

Limited capital access – despite rapid advancements in technology and the potential to transform the healthcare landscape the lack of capital often hinders the process of research and development or the resources needed for the tangible generation of services prove to be insufficient.

Moreover, there are fewer incentives to adopt innovative practices- due to lack of incentives, more often than not private sector is discouraged to undertake steps towards innovation which further prevents the advancement and development in the healthcare sector. Lastly, there exists a lack of market intelligence and network- After continuous hurdles in the research and development process, the innovators are unable to earn sufficient profits due to their lack of networking and connections.

KEY OBJECTIVES OF SAMRIDH

SAMRIDH believes blended finance investments in high-impact health solutions can help lead to transformational change in healthcare systems. SAMRIDH initiative is based on the fact that entrepreneurs and innovators are a powerful force with the potential to transform the Indian healthcare
system. SAMRIDH aspires to assist private sector businesses in effectively supporting India’s SDG ambitions, including an integrated health system enabling Universal Health Coverage (UHC), through initiatives that complement governmental sector efforts.

The carefully crafted mission, which is driven by the idea that everyone should have access to high-quality, reasonably priced healthcare services, places the most vulnerable people at the focus of all its activities. Some of the key objectives of SAMRIDH initiatives are as follows-

  • To respond to short-term, medium-term, and long-term health emergencies, fill supply-side
    deficiencies in healthcare facilities.
  • Increase the uptake and scale of new, market-based health solutions.
  • mobilize resources to support effective health solutions and create long-lasting healthcare
    infrastructure
  • At the community and facility level, support “Make in India” and all-encompassing solutions
    for vulnerable populations.
  • Encourage women to start their businesses to address health issues
  • Drive ESG considerations into investment choices

THE APPROACH TOWARDS A BETTER FUTURE


STEP 1: MOBILISATION AND CONVERGENCE OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES

The range and scope of India’s healthcare issues cannot be solved with just development
financing. However, it can be used to reduce investor barriers in healthcare and free up public and private money flows for high-impact solutions in the industry through strategic partnerships. To maximize this strategy, SAMRIDH brings together private, public, and charitable funds with commercial capital to raise $300+ million in support of healthcare businesses.

STEP 2: IDENTIFICATION OF HIGH IMPACT HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS

India has a strong innovation and entrepreneurial setting, but there isn’t a ready pipeline of “investable” enterprises to help the country’s vulnerable population receive better healthcare.
While tackling some of the most pressing healthcare issues in the nation, the solutions offered frequently lack even the bare minimum of commercial viability and are unable to have a significant impact. In response to this demand, SAMRIDH uses a methodical process to select inclusive business models from a plethora of available options.

STEP 3: ENABLE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE GROWTH CAPITAL

The perception of financial risk in the healthcare industry restricts prospects for private finance for businesses and innovators in the field. Additionally, the investor community is unable to match the diversity of financing requirements for social entrepreneurs due to the variety of their solutions and stages of development. SAMRIDH intends to improve healthcare businesses’ access
to inexpensive funding in light of these difficulties.

STEP 4: MONITOR AND EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF SCALE

The programme runs a tight ship when it comes to monitoring the advancement and effectiveness of its investments due to SAMRIDH’s complex operational architecture, which includes multi-stakeholder partnerships and tailored financial instruments. Additionally, because there has yet to be much success using blended finance technologies to assist healthcare solutions, it continues to put a lot of effort into creating measurement systems and taking in lessons that can be shared with a broader audience.

THE ROAD AHEAD


The healthcare industry in India is highly diversified and offers numerous opportunities in each of the provider, payer, and medical technology segments. Businesses are trying to study the newest dynamics and trends that will have a beneficial impact on their business as a result of the increased competition. Medical device manufacturers have a lot of prospects in India such as the growing demand for vaccines and medical doses during the Covid-19 pandemic. With significant capital expenditure for cutting-edge diagnostic facilities, the nation has also emerged as one of the top locations for high-end diagnostic services, serving a larger section of the populace.

Additionally, Indian customers of medical services are more concerned with maintaining their health.


Future demand for healthcare services is anticipated to increase due to factors such as advancing income levels, an ageing population, rising health awareness, and shifting attitudes towards preventative healthcare. Healthcare spending increased as a result of more people having health insurance, and this trend is expected to continue over the next 10 years.


SAMRIDH has leveraged more than $350 million+ in funds and has impacted more than 25 million +people throughout the country. It has reached 1200 healthcare facilities and built a capacity of over 26000+ frontline healthcare providers with over 15000 being women pan India.

References

Savleen Kaur is a Research Intern at IMPRI.

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