George Institute signs MoU with NHSRC on comprehensive primary healthcare

The National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), established to provide technical support to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s flagship, National Health Protection Mission, and the George Institute for Global Health, an academic research institute, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote evidence-based  healthcare delivery in the primary health care scheme being rolled out by the Government of India.

The two organizations will evaluate and appraise evidence from different community settings to identify best practices for strengthening primary health care delivery. This will inform the rollout of the nation’s Comprehensive Primary Health Care reforms under Ayushman Bharat, under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“There is growing energy and momentum around health reform in India, and as researchers, we have an important role to play in bringing our knowledge to bear upon these changes.

 It is truly humbling to work closely with decision-makers at the national level, who are, on a daily basis, dealing with levels of complexity that easily surpass what we confront in a typical research project. I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity we have for collaborative learning and amplified impact through partnerships with policymakers"

says Dr Devaki Nambiar, Program Head, Health Systems and Equity at the George Institute for Global Health.

Established in 2006, the National Health Systems Resource Centre's assists in policy and strategy development for provision and mobilisation of technical assistance and capacity building in states.

“The operationalization of 150,000 Health and Wellness Centres to deliver comprehensive primary health care is an opportunity and challenge, requiring that we learn from state and district experiences. We hope that this partnership with the George Institute helps us in harnessing evidence-based insights to inform this rollout.”

said Dr Rajani Ved, Executive Director of the National Health Systems Resource Centre. 

The George Institute has been working to strengthen primary health care delivery in the villages of Andhra Pradesh and Haryana by gathering evidence on the use of task sharing whereby screening of community members for NCDs is done by village level health workers using digital health technology. This has been scaled up in various community settings in Indonesia and Thailand.    

Optimisation of the role of  ASHAs and other frontline workers in facilitating access and availability of primary health care is an important goal to be pursued under this MoU.

“ASHAs and Multipurpose Workers are doing a great deal of work but now we are trying to make sure they have more skills and support,” points out Dr Nambiar.