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September 29, 2017

Accessible Lower Income Healthcare Funding

Disclaimer: This project was done in conjunction with an incredibly skilled and generous open source team.

In South Africa public health care is sub-optimal and patients often lack the basic care that they need, especially in the lower middle and lower class. This project is a fully automated system that would allow citizens to make a small contribution to a fund and as a result, have access to basic medical care that would otherwise be unaffordable or simply not provided by the public healthcare structure.

This project is based on the assumption that private healthcare in South Africa is the most effective method of preventing illness and treating society – not for lack of skill of the medical professionals in the government sector, but because of over-crowded facilities, inefficient logistical systems, incompetent officials and corruption.

On the human level, this project also operates under the belief that basic checkups are key to the prevention of more catastrophic medical emergencies down the line. The assumption is made that the majority of the LM-LC bracket avoid regular check-ups for the diagnosis of small medical issues (which could become large issues if left unchecked) because they cannot afford a regular doctor or dentist visit.

The major difference between traditional insurance (medical and otherwise) and this project hinges on the aspect of risk. With traditional insurance, you are insuring a risk. For instance, you are paying a medical insurance company a premium each month so that they take on the risk of you having a medical catastrophe. Their main function is to take your money each month, and then make sure that your life is restored back to where it was before after an incident occured. Taking the risk of you having to pay for it out of your savings off of you and placing it on the medical insurance company. This is a noble cause, but it is reactionary, and not precautionary. This platform is

Solution:

The solution we, along with the open source developers, created for the client was a platform to manage and distribute funds automatically for the payment of basic medical care.

The function of the platform is as follows:

  1. User gets sick or feels they need a checkup.
  2. User logs request via online platform.
  3. Platform automatically approves/declines request based on availability and eligibility.
  4. Patient gets issued a unique transaction ID (different for every visit).
  5. Before the visit, Doctor inputs that ID on their profile to verify it’s validity.
  6. If the visit is valid, the unique transaction ID will be rendered used and then retired indefinitely.
  7. Platform pays doctor for each verified visit at the end of the month.

Users will contribute R250/month. This will entitle them to 6 allocations over a 12 Month period.

Allocations can either be:

  • Type 1: A GP Visit
  • Type 2: A Dental Checkup (with x-rays)
  • Type 3: A Optometrist Visit (with advanced eye test.

Only one Type 2 and Type 3 can be used in a 12 month period. Only one allocation (regardless of type) can be used in a month.

Further Opportunities:

As the fund grows and more funding is available, the goal is to offer users more in the way of care. The next step would be basic emergency care, such as stitches or treatment in casualty, with the goal of having the ability to fund large scale operations in the future all at a very minimal cost to the user.

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