Mobile health units: Mobilizing healthcare to reach unreachable

Khanna Achla Behl, Narula Sapna Arora
International Journal of Healthcare Management (Online)

Purpose: Despite a considerable size, mobile health units (MHUs) are rarely noticed in healthcare network, probably due to its non-profit organization and lack of extensive evaluation. There is no published review, to best of our knowledge, which provides a descriptive insight of this sector and its position in public health. Present article thoroughly reviews available literature to explain MHU's setup, organization, and role in healthcare delivery. Methodology: Search was conducted using PUBMED, Cochrane, ScienceDirect, Popline, CINAHL, and Google for grey literature. Cross references of retrieved articles were hand-picked. The search was restricted to English language, full text articles, and literature made available between 1978 and 2015. Findings: This article highlights the impact of MHUs on ease of access to healthcare services, health outcomes of population served, their satisfaction and quality of life, and socio-economic factors. It further underlines the lacuna where MHUs either complement or may substitute conventional healthcare services. Limitations: This review may not be all-inclusive, since we searched only the electronic literature, thence are likely to miss the non-electronically published work on this topic, such as efforts done locally, on a small scale, or in a resource-poor area which is still not digitized. Value: It could be a valuable resource for a researcher, since it is the first review of its kind. It could fill the gap in published literature caused due to absence of an exhaustive review addressing MHUs.?"

Mobile health units
Mobile health clinics
Mobile hospitals
Primary healthcare
Patient satisfaction
Remote population
Rural livelihood
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