Harnessing God’swill through healthcare financing

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In 2001 Sammy Said and Janet Ogutu were retrenched by a leading international reproductive health NGO, the two nurses decided to invest in their own clinic. They settled on the expansive Nyalenda informal settlement as the site for the new health facility given its large population.

Sammy and Janet named the facility “God’swill Medical Centre” perhaps in acknowledgement of the need for divine intervention in their new venture. After renting two rooms for the clinic, the duo employed two other support staff.  The venture began very slowly. Since the facility had no laboratory, patients were referred elsewhere for lab tests.

“At the beginning we only saw five to ten clients a day but today we see up to thirty patients daily, said Sammy, The clinic opens at 8 am and closes at 5pm only on weekdays.”

The game changer came in 2010 when KMET introduced God’swill to a new quality healthcare financing program called the Medical Credit Fund (MCF).  KMET had just entered partnerships with PharmAccess Group from Netherlands whose 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 serve more low-income patients.

The MCF program aims to contribute to a healthier investment climate and increase the bankability hence scalability of the private healthcare sector.  According to Janet, KMET offered God’swill technical assistance in developing business and quality improvement plans.

“The business plan enabled us to access an initial loan of 500,000 shillings in 2011 which we used to purchase drugs, a centrifuge machine, give the clinic a facelift and set up a laboratory.

A centrifuge machine purchased by the first loan obtained from MCF

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The quality improvement plan that KMET supported Godswill to develop, has enabled the facility to improve its documentation, client safety, infection prevention and upholding patients’ rights.

“The MCF program integrates SafeCare, a step-by-step improvement path to a recognition system that promotes quality improvement and bench marking of health facilities,” explains Janet.

In 2012, God’swill received a second loan of 1,000,000 shillings, which enabled them to improve on safety, introduce immunization, offer – cervical cancer screening, youth-friendly services and carry out renovation of the clinic. With an increased client flow, said Sammy, “we are able to employ five new staff including a laboratory technician”.

At the beginning, the clinic made a monthly net income of 200,000 shillings but currently it makes up to 600,000 shillings.  Opening hours have been extended to 9 pm in the evening and all day during weekends.

In 2013,the Centre recorded an 11% healthcare service from 14,400 in 2011 to 16,200. With improved quality of services and good reputation, the clientele flow increased prompting Janet and Sammy to apply for a third loan of 1,000,000 shillings for expansion.  With this loan, Godswill acquired additional space for maternity services, an observation room and a youth-friendly clinic.   Patients seeking healthcare services have increased from 14,400 in 2011 to 16,200.

With improved quality of services and good reputation, the clientele flow increased prompting Janet and Sammy to apply for a third loan of 1,000,000 shillings for expansion.  With this loan, Godswill acquired additional space for maternity services, an observation room and a youth-friendly clinic.

In addition, the facility currently offers a range of out-patient services including reproductive health services, HIV/AIDS counseling and testing, laboratory services, male circumcision, antenatal services and cancer screening.  “The most common diseases we treat include malaria, typhoid, respiratory infections, STIs, diarrhea, minor surgical cases and minor injuries caused by motorcycle accidents”, said Sammy.

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Meggy  Agola, a certified KMET SafeCare assessor rates God’swill as one of the most improved medium-health facilities in the network of 162 beneficiary facilities in Kenya. “SafeCare has five quality improvement levels and God’swill has gradually improved and we have certified the clinic as a Level 2 facility.

I see this facility reaching the fifth level in a short time” said Meggy. The ultimate goal of SafeCare is full standards compliance or accreditation.  To guide facilities along this path, SafeCare uses 13 service elements representing different levels of healthcare delivery ranging from how management is organized to how the cleaning staff operates.

“God’swill has received a third loan of 1,000,000 shillings which we have invested in renovating and equipping additional rooms for maternity’ said Janet.  The loan also facilitated procurement of a delivery couch, additional stock of essential drugs, purchasing of beds and resuscitation equipment.

Sammy and Janet have set a target to improve the clinic’s process and systems through computerization and eventually offering in-patient services.

-END-

Author: Sam Owoko

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