Unjani Clinics – ‘Empowered Quality Healthcare’
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Why Unjani Clinics was created?
“Unjani Clinics was created because there is a gap in South African markets from a healthcare prospective. There is significant strain on public clinics that have to effectively provide healthcare to the bottom of the pyramid. More than 84% of South Africans rely on the State for healthcare and the State is unable to adequately serve patients. Unjani Clinics was created because we believe that there are people that can afford to pay something towards their healthcare. Unjani Clinics is an opportunity to for these patients to access quality and affordable private healthcare.
How does it work exactly?
“Unjani Clinics is a social franchise. The franchisor is a non-profit company, so we can generate funding for our clinics. The franchises are the clinics themselves, the nurses approach us and we empower them because they own and operate the clinic and are able to become successful entrepreneurs into the future.
Is it a way to create jobs? Absolutely, we calculated that we can create at least three permanent jobs in each and every clinic. That is why we have been awarded grant funding from ‘The Jobs Fund’. The next three years will deliver 288 new jobs as a result.
Two years after the creation, what are you proud of the most?
“The concept has been proven. A number of nurses have approached us based on the word of mouth of our existing nurses operating our pilot clinics. A lot of them are interested in having an Unjani Clinic. But more than anything, the patients that we have served in the communities where we operate have experienced a better quality of healthcare and accessibility to medicines.
Do you have three words to define the spirit of Unjani Clinics?
“Empowered quality healthcare.
What was the biggest difficulty since the creation of this concept?
“The biggest difficulty that we have had is to find the right level of pricing that is affordable to the patient, but also that there is sufficient cash flow for the nurse to operate a sustainable business, given that the clinic is a profit model. The other difficulty would be the selection of the correct operators in the clinics, and providing them with the necessary training to ensure that they are able to run a proper business.
What are your main challenges?
“We have a challenge in the number of clinics that we need to roll out over the next couple of years. Another challenge would be a regulatory challenge in getting the Department of Health to see what we are trying to do and that we want to enter into a public-private partnership, as opposed to private taking over what the State believes it is currently doing.