Designing the Future of Universal Healthcare
Using social integration of health and wellness along with accessibility, immediate care, affordability, and economic deployability, Architecture Discipline developed a solution for one of India's largest crises—health infrastructure.
Made from upcycled shipping containers, the Mohalla Clinics are designed to bring affordable primary healthcare to every neighbourhood in Delhi. The clinics are a prefabricated, easily deployable and sustainable solution to the issue of inaccessible primary healthcare. A typical unit is made of two 20-foot-long containers consists of a reception, a waiting lounge, an examination room, and a pharmacy, making it suitable for routine health checks, testing, and vaccinations.
India’s health infrastructure is facing one of its biggest crises in the post-Independence era. A countrywide ratio of only 5 beds per 10,000 inhabitants is reported in the Human Development Report 2020, continuing the nation's long history of poor performance on health infrastructure indicators.
Existing facilities are largely privatised, pricey, and have significant treatment expenses that are frequently covered by patients on their own dime. These limitations were exacerbated further by Covid-19 and the stress it exerted on our public health systems. The urgent demand was for smaller, more community-based medical facilities that may be swiftly deployed, offer subsidised services, and supply inexpensive care to a larger population.
The Mohalla Clinics is a solution that emphasises social integration of health and wellbeing coupled with accessibility, immediate care, affordability, and economic deployability. It serves as a model for a primary care facility and was constructed using discarded shipping containers recovered from several Delhi container yards. The clinic's architecture was modified from the firm's modular health facility idea, Life Community Medical Facility (LifeCMF). Twenty units will be deployed in Delhi's various urban settlements in the first phase; which will scale up to 500 units in upcoming phases.
Prefabricated clinics can be rapidly deployed in as little as 2-3 days, allowing flexibility in deployment, including the ability to airlift units to emergency situations like disaster-struck regions or war zones.
The clinic’s design capitalizes on the structural strength of a discarded shipping container and works with it as a module, eliminating the need for costly modifications or custom-built additionsBy incorporating them into a circular model of reuse, it redefines post-industrial trash as a vehicle for the fair distribution of cheap health services. By taking something forgotten and giving it a new lease of life through the Mohalla Clinics proposes a sustainable solution for the health infrastructure crisis in our country.
The clinics are composed of two 20-foot-long containers separated by a 1.2 m–wide metal deck that also serves as an entryway to the two halves. The repurposed containers are coated with red exterior paint, with logos and signage painted in white. Glazed wall sections consist of hermetically sealed double-glazed units with aluminium frames, allowing the clinics to be naturally lit while preventing heat ingress. The Mohalla Clinic’s interior finishes create an optimistic and clean environment for patients, using materials and fixtures that are patient-safe and easy to maintain.