Pakistan witnessed a lot of social change in past few years, DoctHERs is one such social start-up which provides a platform for female doctors who left practicing due to social and cultural constraints.
Pakistan Medical council reports show that out of 70% of female medical students only 23% endup registering as doctors.
Dr Sara Khurram and Dr Iffat Zafar two female doctors who personally faced many socio-cultural constraints in continuing their profession thought of bringing social change through DoctHERs.
DoctHERs is a platform which connects patients and female doctors through digital means ie., using mobile and Internet-enabled technologies/video conferencing.
The female patients from rural and remote areas of Pakistan who has less access to medical facility and who are not open to get treated with male doctor due to social constraints are main targets of this novel project.
The working model of DoctHERs is very simple, the team trains female nurses, community health workers and community midwives to assist doctors through a programme ‘MidWives assist doctHERs‘.
The trained Nurses will be available at the centre at particular time slots who conducts the initial round of check-up of the patients, the initial examination report is then shared with the assigned female doctor.
The assigned doctor,nurse and patient together meet through an online meeting software “MD Consults”, The doctor appears on a laptop screen and talks directly to the patient.
The doctor takes support of clinical nurses treats patients under virtual supervision, it also consists of peripheral diagnostic tools as well, so the doctor can assess her patient’s vital signs remotely.
The Pricing model ensures the project to be sustainable, it charges a minimum of Rs100 to a maximum of Rs1,200 per patient , where 50 per cent of the revenue is paid to the doctHER network, 25 per cent to the nurses and community health workers and 15pc covers operational costs, yielding a net profit of 10%.
Recently DoctHERs launched a teleclinic in KP province of Pakistan to treat rural women for prices ranging from $1 to $12, which is comparatively less than other clinics.
DocHERs is an innovative ICT social change start-up which apart from providing affordable health facilities to rural Pakistani women is also fighting social and cultural taboo by allowing female doctors to practice.