Completed Project

Linkages of Parallel Health Providers and Impact on Health System: A Social Network Analysis from Indian Sundarbans

Agency : IIHMR In-House Research Grant

Team Rittika Brahmachari, Sabyasachi Mandal (Research Assistant)

Social network theory informed the study. Using qualitative methodology, the study explored the following: the presence and functioning of the network of rural medical practitioners with health system actors in the Sundarbans in West Bengal; the extent of influence of the healthcare market on the rural medical practitioners and vice versa; and how to make use of these networks for effective service delivery for the people of the Sundarbans in West Bengal. The study found three types of significant linkages in the social network of rural medical practitioners: formal healthcare actors, private healthcare market actors, and community-based actors. The network comprised of strong and weak social ties that act as safety nets for rural medical practitioners. The resilience of these groups of community based informal healthcare providers had the potential to complement the formal healthcare providers, both in normal times and during climate shocks. The strengthening of weak ties with formal healthcare providers could lead to building resilient and responsive health systems.