Strengthening the mental health ecosystem in India
India’s mental health burden is enormous, doubling since 1990 and affecting an estimated 14 per cent of the population (200 million people). Yet, funding for treatment is minimal (< two per cent of the government health expenditure goes toward mental health) and the capacity of mental health professionals extremely limited (there are 0.07 psychologists or social workers per 100,000 citizens vs. >30 in the United States). These findings spurred India DHEI to action in this important area.
The team documented challenges faced by patients, policymakers, payors and providers by gathering insights about mental health from a mix of stakeholders (academics, to NGO leaders, to private and public providers). With facts in hand, the team identified six imperatives to address mental health inequities. These range from implementing and enforcing the current Mental Health Act and building digital treatment solutions, to focusing on and funding more community-based care. The goals: close the treatment gap, reduce the stigma of diagnosis and treatment, and minimise the years lived with disability (YLD). Acting on this concrete set of imperatives will reduce the economic loss of untreated mental health disorders in every Indian state and socioeconomic class, and fundamentally improve the lives of those who receive needed treatment.
Improving health care access through data sharing in Africa
The health equity disparities between urban and rural communities in Africa are large. Many countries face barriers to delivering basic health care services, particularly in rural regions. The problem is not only the lack of end-to-end infrastructure, but also gaps in resources. What’s needed is a seamless continuum of funding, proven programs and information flowing from national and district health agencies to communities and vice versa. Consequently, the Africa DHEI team focused on improving collaboration between health service organisations and increasing data exchange and transparency.
Effective efforts included conducting health equity workshops with policymakers in several countries, as well as fine-tuning a data analysis tool that captured relevant healthcare delivery data at the national, province, district and sub-district levels. By aggregating data on a range of topics that can be interrogated to identify patterns of illness, missed opportunities for treatment, or a falloff in health engagement, community and national leaders are better able to target and deploy resources to underserved constituents and hot spots.
Mitigating the health impact of poverty in US cities
In the richest country in the world, income level is still a major determinant of who receives adequate health care in the United States. At the root of inequities are historical mistreatment and bias, reflected across the country’s fragmented healthcare landscape. Indeed, many US citizens fend for themselves to get a diagnosis or treatment while others decline treatment available due to onerous costs, particularly for the uninsured. The result: many don’t trust or access services, even when encountering an existential threat like COVID-19, and acute conditions go untreated and lead to chronic disease.
The US DHEI invested in identifying and reaching low-income, underserved citizens. The team developed a comprehensive Health Equity Dashboard that generates granular insights of health equity in counties across the United States. Synthesising a range of credible big data sets, the dashboard’s advanced analytics help researchers and healthcare leaders visualise and understand the magnitude of health disparities, in large cities and small communities alike. As a result, insights generated help quantify relative risks for certain health conditions, like diabetes, that correlate to income, race, geography and age. Powered by Deloitte's HealthPrism Technology, the insights are available to the public—and health care providers and systems—for free, allowing targeted outreach to reach underserved populations.