PayNearby, India’s leading branchless banking and digital network, has launched the Health Correspondents* Program with an aim to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible to the country’s most vulnerable and last-mile population. This is in line with the company’s nation building pledge to make all essential services available for the country’s underserved population and ensure overall transformation of Bharat through a mass transformation approach. The company’s existing network of retailers, such as kirana stores, mobile recharge stores, medical shops, customer service point (CSPs) and travel agents, along with new appointees through Gram Panchayats and local institutions, will be leveraged for this initiative.
The Healthcare Correspondents (HCs) will act as intermediaries between healthcare providers and the rural population, aligning with the Ayushman Bharat vision of the Government of India to enhance primary healthcare in tier II regions and beyond. PayNearby plans to leverage its Distribution as a Service (DaaS) network to bring essential healthcare services to rural Bharat, ensuring equitable access across the country. The program includes promoting various healthcare-related products and services through its HCs, including a Health Card mapped to the citizen’s PayNearby account, to provide discounts on medicines, medical tests, basic medical equipments and doctor consultations via telemedicine. Furthermore, to safeguard citizens from financial risks and life’s uncertainties, the HCs will offer tailor-made healthcare insurance schemes as well.
PayNearby aims to recruit HCs in every corner of the country, utilising existing infrastructure like gram panchayats. By the end of FY23-24, the company plans to convert at least 1 lakh of its million+ active retailers into HCs, expanding the reach of telemedicine services.
Speaking on the occasion, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “Healthcare is one of the most important parameters of a country’s progress. The true growth of a nation lies in its ability to provide comprehensive health services to its population. PayNearby understands the importance of prioritising people’s health and empowering them to take care of themselves and their families. By introducing Health Correspondents Program in our portfolio, we seek to bridge the gap between urban and rural healthcare services, enabling citizens in Bharat to access all the necessary facilities available to their urban counterparts.
Our retailers are the flagbearers of the massive inclusion mission that we have undertaken. In times of crisis, they have always been at the beck and call of the citizens. Their role during the pandemic, as community managers bringing government’s relief funds to the masses or ensuring mass registration for the immunization program, gave us the confidence that our retail partners can double up as HCs and use technology to enable quality healthcare services in their communities. With time and adequate handholding, HCs will be trained to bring about a behavorial shift so that technology can be used for all primary healthcare needs, whether it is teleconsultation with specialists, ordering medicine at discounted rates or health related awareness and training programs locally.
With this initiative, we are committed to help the country achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and take the ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Swasthya’ mission a notch higher.”
During the pandemic, the local trust of PayNearby’s retailers came into play when they doubled up as frontline warriors and ensured DBT and other relief funds reached the hands of the intended. In addition, they also helped people register on the CoWIN app for vaccination, creating large-scale community awareness for the immunization program. Success of societal welfare programs like these has augmented the trust and reach of the PayNearby network and elevated them as community managers in their territories, which will now be leveraged to enable affordable healthcare at the last mile.