Panjim, April 2022: Global institutes like Harvard and WHO are looking towards the western state of Goa for collaborative research projects. Leading business school Goa Institute of Management (GIM) is presently working on several collaborative healthcare-related research projects with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO)
“The Harvard project is a qualitative India case study that takes an in-depth look at the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA), a community health worker program instituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) as a part of India’s National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) launched in 2005”, explained Dr. Kheya Melo Furtado, Associate Professor, Healthcare Management, GIM who was awarded the project.
In addition, the B-school is currently collaborating with WHO on a number of research projects on publicly funded health insurance programmes. These projects are being led by Dr. Kheya along with Dr. Arif Raza, Associate Professor, Healthcare Management, GIM. Other faculty from GIM’s Healthcare Management programme also contribute as part of the research team, including Dr. Devasheesh Mathur, Ms. Nafisa Vaz, and Dr. Supriya Phadnis.
The ongoing project with Harvard aimed to investigate the payment processes for frontline workers in lower-middle-income countries and the uptake of digitalization in this process.
Explained Dr. Kheya Melo Furtado, Associate Professor, Healthcare Management, GIM, “The study involved more than 50 in-depth interviews and several focus-group discussions with the health workers, their supervisors, and health system leaders to understand the incentive payment processes of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), community health workers. ASHA workers are vital as they form the first point of contact between the community and the public health care system. They provide services on various national health care programs including disease control programs.”
Dr. Kheya Furtado stressed, “ASHA workers are the grassroot level health workers and are very important building blocks of the public health system and this study aimed to improve efficiency related to timeliness, worker motivation and overall health system performance and thus it is important to understand the adoption of the incentive system.”
“GIM has also partnered with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to study the implementation of publicly financed health insurance schemes in India like the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY),” explained Dr. Kheya. Launched in 2018, the initiative intends to make secondary and tertiary healthcare entirely free for the most disadvantaged citizens. GIM has worked on five projects, with more in the pipeline, which includes several states across the country including Assam, UP, Haryana, HP, Punjab, J&K, and Meghalaya among others.