*Priya works at Hyderabad, India-based ACCESS Health International, a core lead partner organization of the Center for Health Market Innovations. For the past year, ACCESS has been mapping the landscape for innovations in India to identify programs for CHMI's database. Priya and her colleagues are conducting in-depth case studies to
demonstrate how outstanding programs in India work, with the intention to publish the case studies to enable growth and replication of these models in other settings. We asked Priya to give her view of the need for CHMI in India.*
*Why create a tool like the Center for Health Market Innovations?*
CHMI is an answer to two critical gaps that I see. One is a lack of organized knowledge about private sector programs that serve the poor. Two is the lack of discussion about how with the government could provide effective stewardship to engage the private sector. I feel that government should take on that stewardship. In a health care market like India, where the private sector is big and growing, the regulatory role of the Government critical. CHMI could provide the knowledge base for the mentioned initiatives.
*Did you feel the need for CHMI in your previous work?*
My background is in rural management and I have been working in India on designing and implementing health delivery programs since 1997. In 2000, Andhra Pradesh government asked me to design a scheme to provide maternal and child health care services for the urban poor. A platform like CHMI would have been really helpful.
*Was it frustrating?*
No, actually it was very satisfying work. Government was the only party with a clear mandate of providing health for the poor. There were inadequacies in execution but the intention was evident. The challenge for me was that we did not have access to organized information so we had to search a great deal to understand what others' experience had been. We needed a neutral forum for discussing experiences including
challenges. Workshops don't provide flexibility for participants as they are often focused on one aspect of care.
*Where do you go now for program implementer experiences?*
Apart from the CHMI Program database, the blog is a good medium we have. As for other blogs, I am a member of the UN Solution Exchange. They have created online platforms for maternal and child health, microfinance, ICT in development etc. You can post questions if you are a member. You get very rich responses.
*What trends do you see?*
It is interesting to watch the emergence of social enterprises, those focused on the poor and with double bottom lines. These organizations engage with the question of how good quality care could be provided to households at the bottom of the pyramid. We must have government identify and engage with such organizations in the private sector.
*Is this happening now?*
It's happening already in India. Examples are abundant. In the 11th fifth year plan, government has a clear mandate for creating [Public-Private Partnerships] PPPs for health delivery. Most of [National Rural Health Mission] NRHM involves PPPs.
In A.P., there are many public-private partnerships: Health Management
Emergency Management Research Institute
[1298 Ambulance Access for
All](http://healthmarketinnovations.org/program/1298-ambulance-access-all)is another organization that has PPPs in other Indian states.
CHMI could play an active role in expanding such models by creating a physical platform for practitioner-practitioner interaction, in extension of the virtual platform. This could be done through the local in-country partners.