uniBank and Medical Credit Fund launch partnership to improve access to quality healthcare
At the launch of the uniHealth loan in Accra on Friday, 19 June
uniBank Ghana Limited, one of the few wholly owned Ghanaian banks, and Medical Credit Fund, a member of the PharmAccess Group, have partnered on several innovative loan products for Ghana's health SME sector. Under the name uniHealth Loan, uniBank and Medical Credit Fund have also pioneered partnerships with Royal PHILIPS and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in order to best serve healthcare providers. uniHealth Loan offers health SMEs different options for both financing and support. As such, healthcare providers can expand and improve the quality of their services, giving more people access to quality healthcare.
uniHealth Loan addresses some of the major financial challenges of the private health SME sector:
1. Access to loans for private service providers in the healthcare supply chain
2. National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) receivables financing
The product has become necessary because of the gloomy picture of health delivery in Sub Saharan Africa. Sub Saharan Africa accounts for 15% of the world's population but bears 25% of the global disease burden and accounts for 47% of the world's communicable diseases. Nearly half of the world's deaths of children under five take place in Africa. Yet, less than 1% of the global health expenditure is spent on the continent.
While the private sector plays a significant role in providing about 50% of healthcare in Ghana, its potential is not fully utilized. About 12 million Ghanaians access healthcare service through private health providers who have very limited equipment and infrastructure to deliver this essential care. Entrepreneurs in the private health SME sector are unable to access capital from banks in Ghana because of the perceived high risks associated with lending to them.
Through uniHealth Loan, healthcare providers can access loans with which they can renovate their facility or purchase medical equipment. In addition, they benefit from business and medical quality training under the SafeCare program. Through a new partnership with PHILIPS, uniHealth also offers healthcare providers the possibility to obtain PHILIPS equipment specifically, through a loan with favorable terms such as a waiver on bank processing fees.
Another option within uniHealth Loan is a receivable financing designed with support from the NHIA. This loan product, the first of its nature in the health insurance sector, provides relief to accredited NHIS service providers while they await claims payment from the scheme. As this can sometimes take a considerable amount of time, providers often run into serious cash flow issues where they are unable to pay salaries or restock their pharmacy. Eligible claims of registered facilities will be assigned to the bank after which uniBank pays a discounted amount of the claim value to the service provider. The product guarantees liquidity to support continuous quality healthcare delivery by NHIS service providers.
All medical facilities are also supported with value added services through the internationally recognized SafeCare quality improvement program which takes staff through a step-wise improvement in all facets of managing the facility including business training, business process improvement and financial management. The objective is to help expand and improve the quality of their services, giving more people access to quality healthcare. Eligible clients include hospitals, clinics, maternity homes, diagnostic centers and the pharmaceutical industry.
The partnership between uniBank and the Medical Credit Fund ensures that beneficiaries of the uniHealth Loan do not provide any collateral. This makes the uniHealth loan product a major watershed in the delivery of health services in the country. It is hoped that medical facilities will avail themselves to the product and enjoy its valued benefits.
Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang from MCF at the launch presenting on the uniHealth loan
For further information, please contact:
uniBank (Ghana) Limited
Tel: +233-302-216000 ext. 1037
PharmAccess / Medical Credit Fund
Tel. (+233)0307 021 078
About uniBank Ghana Limited
uniBank (Ghana) Limited was incorporated as a private company in December 1997 to operate as a bank. It is a wholly owned Ghanaian and authorized to undertake a broad range of banking business. The Bank opened its door to customers in January 2001. uniBank's vision is to be the leading and preferred Bank offering comprehensive financial solutions to our chosen customers (SME and Personal Banking markets) in a professional, caring, responsive and profitable way. The bank is a key player in the SME finance sector and has helped turned the declining fortunes of numerous SMEs around. uniBank has won several awards since 2001. Please read more on http://www.unibankghana.com/
About the Medical Credit Fund
The Medical Credit Fund facilitates SME loans to private primary healthcare providers in sub-Saharan Africa through local banks. The finance program is combined with an internationally certified clinical and business technical assistance program (SafeCare) to ensure that funding is well spent. This integrated approach helps to improve the quality of the health clinics, leading to expanded and improved healthcare services for more people. Medical Credit Fund won the 2010 G-20 SME Finance Challenge and an OPIC Impact Award in the category Access to Finance in 2014. Please read more on http://www.medicalcreditfund.org