Innovative Health Pilot Launched in Rural India by Ashoka and Partners

October 30, 2009

Punjab, India (October 30, 2009) Earlier this week, Ashoka announced the launch of its Healthcare for All pilot in the Punjab region of India, in partnership with the Naandi Foundation, the Government of Punjab, and Healthpoint Services India Pvt. Ltd.

With over 1,000 people in attendance three pilot E Health Point units -- facilities providing telemedical consultation with doctors, a wide range of advanced diagnostics, licensed pharmacy, and clean drinking water, serving communities of up to 10,000 local residents -- were inaugurated by General (Rtd.) S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab along with other governmental officials. Services are offered on a fee-for-service basis at prices affordable by most rural Indian households; most services cost less than $1. The Finance Minister of Punjab, Mr. Sardar Manfreet Badal, said “We are very pleased that the pilot of this unique E Health Point concept is taking place in Punjab, because we believe it has the potential to greatly improve delivery of quality healthcare to our rural communities.” The finance minister publicly asked Healthpoint Services and its partners to build many more.

Ashoka is fulfilling its goal of transforming rural healthcare having incubated Healthpoint Services, which is in turn partnering with local organizations, such as the Naandi Foundation. The partnership allows each organization to leverage its strengths and combine them to provide access to high-quality, low-cost healthcare for thousands of low-income individuals. Amit Jain, CEO of Healthpoint Services India Pvt. Ltd., expressed his confidence in the market response to E Health Points saying, “Our waiting rooms are full, customer satisfaction is high, and we are hiring more people as fast as we can.”

The model, financially sustainable and scalable, will serve as demonstration of the opportunities available when companies and local organizations work together to create innovative business models and technological solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Dr. Al Hammond, Co-founder and Chairman of Healthpoint said, “It has taken the support of many people and especially two organizations, Ashoka and the Naandi Foundation, to get this far. We still have a lot of work to do, but it is thrilling and satisfying to see low-income patients getting much needed treatment and prices they can afford.”

Going forward, the partners will continue to refine their business model and focus on scaling the E Health  Point concept to have close to 2000 units on the ground over the next 5 years.

About Ashoka

Founded in 1980, Ashoka is the world’s working community of more than 2,000 leading social entrepreneurs. It champions the most important new social change ideas and supports the entrepreneurs behind them by helping them get started, grow, succeed, and collaborate. As Ashoka expands its capacity to integrate and connect social and business entrepreneurs around the world, it builds an entrepreneurial infrastructure comprised of a series of global initiatives that support the fast-growing needs of the citizen sector. Ashoka’s vision is to create change today, for an Everyone A Changemaker™ society to become the reality of tomorrow. For more information, visit www.ashoka.org.

About the Naandi Foundation

The Naandi Foundation is a leading Indian NGO with a mission to eradicate poverty and has played a major role in launching this new service in India. Founded in 1998 its work has 3 broad sectors: Child Rights, Safe Drinking Water and Sustainable Livelihoods. The Naandi ideology revolves around building sustainable models within the social sector that deliver critical services efficiently and equitably to underserved communities. For more information visit www.naandi.org.

About Healthpoint Services

Healthpoint Services is a privately-financed company, incubated from Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship program, which catalyzes market-based solutions in key sectors such as housing and healthcare.

For further information contact:
Chloe Feinberg
cfeinberg@ashoka.org