Today is World Health Day, the theme being Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere. At Caspian Impact Investments , we see our role in the healthcare sector as an enabler of access to healthcare for under-served geographies and at affordable costs. Hence, we are trying to actively make sure that healthcare access to everyone and everywhere is better.
We started making loans in the healthcare sector in the year 2016. Over the past two years, we have funded 10 companies (and counting) across different areas: from healthcare services delivery to diagnostics to manpower training for medical support staff. By supporting companies across these areas, we are trying to ensure delivery of better quality of healthcare services to under-served locations and at an affordable cost.
The three broad areas of investments include:
Healthcare Services Delivery in under-served locations: Our investee companies have set up clinics and hospitals in district or taluka towns and provide healthcare services at an affordable cost for local population, preventing the need to travel to bigger cities. Our investee companies also connect smaller locations with telemedicine-based consulting from doctors who may be in another city. The availability of healthcare services to people nearer to their home base makes the process of getting quality healthcare (consulting or treatment) so much more affordable and hassle free. We have invested in 6 such companies.
Supporting infrastructure/ancillary services to enable delivery of healthcare services in underserved locations: Beyond just core healthcare services, it is often difficult to get quick and high quality diagnostic services when you are living in a smaller town or rural area. Often, doctors and clinics don't get access to specialised equipment at an affordable cost if it is located in a small town. For those living in smaller towns you will recognize the problems of having to wait for days to get the result of a diagnostic test or the problem of having to go to the nearest city to get the test done because your town or village doesn’t have the diagnostic facility or appropriate medical equipment. We have invested 3 such companies.
Qualified medical support manpower allowing doctors to spend more time on consulting and treatment: Nurses and medical support staff help doctors focus on their core function of diagnosis and treatment by taking care of the preparatory, technical and administrative functions. India doesn’t just have a shortage of trained doctors, it has an even bigger shortage of nurses and trained medical support staff and technicians. In order to improve the effectiveness of doctors it is necessary for us to have a large number of trained technicians or medical support staff who can perform specialized tasks that do not require a doctor’s involvement. One of our investees takes care of filling this gap by training technical and medical support staff for specialized roles. We have invested in one company that trains medical support and technical manpower.
Do you have any suggestions for us on how we can deepen our impact in the above areas? Do you know of companies that are working in the above areas and are doing a commendable job?