Medical Services

Mobile Medical Units and its importance for rural areas residences.

Mobile Medical Units also aided in the mobilization of healthcare by allowing for screenings, simple diagnosis, and in some instances, complex medical services to be provided closer to people’s residences. Regardless of the rugged geography, low access, or structural constraints, medical services should be rendered accessible to individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds at a low cost and with far fewer operational and management responsibilities that were fully operating hospitals need.

Mobile Medical Units will also allow students to learn specific diagnostic techniques while also assisting the vulnerable by partnering with medical colleges and trainee healthcare organizations.

These insights will also help them better understand the on-the-ground obstacles impeding healthcare change in the country and provide an incentive for them to make a difference by proposing alternatives to current issues.

India is responsible for over 97% of malaria deaths in South East Asia, with 90% of the cases in rural areas. The same thing happens in African countries that suffer from inadequate medical conditions, and going to the hospital is challenging. On the other hand, Mobile Medical Units will perform required checks and care in rural areas and increase concern regarding malaria prevention. Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) are run in collaboration with state governments or the National Rural Health Mission (NHM) and socially conscious corporations to reach out to society’s vulnerable and less privileged segments. Thus, it’s a blessing and essential tool every country should unitize.

The free clinics are operated by a doctor, nurse, radiologist, test technician, pharmacist, and driver and provide medical examinations, investigation resources, awareness programs, post-natal care, electrocardiography, and medicine.

Support for Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) under NHM, which now includes both NRHM and NUHM, is a critical strategy for improving access to public health care, especially for people living in rural, complex, underserved, and unreached places. This strategy aims to bring healthcare to communities, especially those living in rural, impoverished, and underserved areas. It is not intended to be a patient move.

MMU services are intended to meet the technical and service quality standards for a Primary Health Center by including a suggested package of services across 12 thematic areas: Maternal Health, Neonatal, and Infant Health, Child and Adolescent Health, Reproductive Health and Contraceptive Services, Management of Chronic Communicable Diseases, Management of Common Communicable Diseases, and Basic Health Services. Apart from facilitating referrals, these facilities are delivered free of charge by MMUs.

Typically, MMU has a single vehicle; but, whether there is more than one vehicle:

  • Medical and paramedical services are transported in a single ambulance.
  • The second automobile is used to transport laboratory instruments, accessories, and supplies.
  • The third vehicle is equipped with medical instruments such as an X-ray machine, an ultrasound machine, an ECG machine, and a generator.

MMUs are deployed following a population norm of one MMU per ten lakh inhabitants, subject to a district limit of five MMUs. Further relaxing of standards is available on a case-by-case basis in cases where the number of patients served by current MMUs reaches 60 in plain areas and 30 in hilly areas, depending on the evaluation of proposals submitted by the respective states. Support is given to states/UTS for MMUs on both capital and operating cost basis, within the bounds of established financial standards. For example, the authorized operational/recurring cost of a diagnostic van is Rs.24 lakhs, while the cost for North Eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, is Rs.28 lakhs. A medical officer, a nurse, a lab technician, a pharmacist who doubles as an administrative assistant, and a driver who doubles as support workers are proposed for each MMU.