Health Insurance Fund supports the activities of the PharmAccess Group, a Dutch not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving access to quality health care for people in sub-Saharan Africa.
A short history
Since its inception in 2000, PharmAccess has pioneered innovative and sustainable approaches. When the price of anti-retroviral drugs went down, Prof. Dr. Joep Lange had a vision to speed up the process of providing access to these drugs for the people who needed them most, in Africa. As the public health system was unable to deliver this care, he actively approached companies in the private sector. Thus, PharmAccess introduced HIV/AIDS workplace programs for employees and dependents of multinationals in Africa, starting with Heineken.
The success of these programs prompted the development of other initiatives in the field of health care in Africa, leading to the founding of the Health Insurance Fund in 2006. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the Health Insurance Fund to launch alternative mechanisms to the traditional development approach. One of these mechanisms was the establishment of a pilot health insurance for uninsured, low-income groups in sub-Saharan Africa, through the local private sector. Improving the quality of healthcare providers was a key aspect of this program. The first health plans were launched in Nigeria, targeting market women, farmers and their families.
In order to enable the private healthcare companies in sub-Saharan Africa to grow and deliver the necessary services, a private investment fund (Investment Fund for Health in Africa) was established in 2007. Additional offshoots were added to the approach in the following years: the Medical Credit Fund, a loan program for healthcare providers that combines access to capital with quality and business improvement, and SafeCare, a program that introduces internationally recognized clinical standards for resource-restricted settings.
In order to stimulate the entire healthcare system, PharmAccess employs an integrated approach. This approach consists of complementary initiatives that aim to increase resources, efficiency and effectiveness within the healthcare system. By combining standards for quality improvement, loans for healthcare providers, health plans and in-depth impact research the PharmAccess Group simultaneously stimulates the demand for and supply of healthcare services. Their expertise includes health plans, healthcare quality, healthcare financing and impact evaluation. The work of the PharmAccess Group also includes consultancy on healthcare infrastructure and HIV/AIDS corporate programs as well as mobile health (mHealth) applications.
The PharmAccess Group consists of:
PharmAccess provides the expertise needed to act as the coordinating, implementing and advising partner for each of its organizations as well as partners and donors. In addition, PharmAccess regularly develops new initiatives, such as activities in mHealth, to strengthen our integrated approach.
SafeCare is a quality improvement program designed especially for resource-restricted healthcare facilities. Its internationally recognized set of standards creates a transparent improvement path that offers clinics positive incentives to move steadily upwards in quality.
Medical Credit Fund
Medical Credit Fund provides loans to doctors and clinics in the private sector, enabling them to improve the quality of their services, develop their business potential and service more low-income patients. As such, it contributes to a healthier investment climate and increases the bankability and scalability of the private healthcare sector.
The Health Insurance Fund finances above initiatives, in addition to the health insurance, consultancy and mHealth divisions of the PharmAccess Group, with public grants from the Dutch government and World Bank.