Microfinance Meets Micro Healthcare

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In an attempt to provide affordable micro health program to the underserved sections of the society, Mysore (Karnataka, India) based healthcare consultancy and service provider Suddanand Healthcare has developed a symbiotic relationship with microfinance institutions in Karnataka.

Utilizing the existing customer base infrastructure of MFIs in the state, Suddanand Healthcare program is ensuring higher efficiency, standardization of charges, greater awareness and penetration of health care to a larger section of people.

Suddanand is a non-governmental organization (NGO) and offers a non-commercial micro health program. An individual has to pay Rs. 160 to become a member. With this membership, he/she can claim up to Rs. 5000. The membership card can be used at certain hospitals to receive outpatient services at Rs. 10 and inpatient treatment at fixed costs arranged by Suddanand Healthcare with the hospitals.

Suddanand Healthcare coordinates between MFIs and network hospitals for fixing standard rates for medical expenses. It also appoints and provides claim forms to network hospitals near the villages. Further, it provides license to treat patients under cashless scheme to the hospitals.

There are other value-added services such as arranging ambulance services, guiding members for special consultation, providing information about 24-hour help lines, health facilities, bed availabilities, organization of lifestyle and other well-being programs. Through these comprehensive services, Suddanand Healthcare is able to provide affordable health care to the poor.

Suddanand Healthcare has an affordable outpatient cost of just Rs. 10. It has the license to get patients treated under cashless scheme in the concerned hospitals. There is a hand held system in place and when the patient goes to the hospital, there will be a Suddanand helper at the hospital to help the patient.

Suddanand uses web-based software to maintain claim settlements. Lastly, Suddanand micro health care program ties up with MFIs, to use their customer database to educate and reach out to the poor.

The Healthcare’s model is a self-sustaining in the sense that it does not need external funding. Its members’ contributions are able to sustain the program.

Source: Microfinance Focus (link opens in a new window)