Public–private implementation of integrated emergency response services: Case study of GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute in Karnataka, India
Emergency medical services are important to the functioning of health systems, but these services tend to be neglected in low- and middle-income countries, such as India. In recent years, several models of pre-hospital emergency medical services have emerged in India. Research on these models holds important lessons for existing and future emergency medical service programs in low- and middle-income countries. Our objective was to provide a comprehensive description of the organizational structure and service delivery model of a public–private partnership in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute, with a particular focus on its operations in Bengaluru.Methods.
A case study methodology was used to explore systematically the organizational model of GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute in Karnataka. Qualitative data were collected through an in-person site visit to GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute headquarters in Bengaluru in July 2013. Three sources were used: in-depth, semistructured interviews, document review, and nonparticipant observation. Data were analyzed according to the health system “building blocks” proposed by the World Health Organization.Results.
The organization follows a standardized model across the states and union territories where they have contractual arrangements, including Karnataka. Processes for fleet maintenance, information systems/information technology and training, and deployment were well structured at the organizational level. The public–private partnership appears pro-poor in orientation; however, further demand-side research is required on the perspective of patients.Conclusion.
Our study reveals a functional structure at the organizational level, which provides a key service at no cost to users. Detailed analyses of this nature can help inform global efforts for the development and strengthening of emergency medical services systems.