M-TIBA, a mobile health platform launched in 2016 to enable people to save, send, receive and pay money for medical treatment through a mobile health wallet on their phone has hit over 920,000 users from its 100,000 clinic visits and Ksh 140m in medical payouts becoming the largest individual savings scheme to allow people to save funds on their wallet for use at accredited health facilities.
The platform had in April announced it had hit over 500,000 users with over 60,000 clinic visits and over Sh. 100,000,000 million in medical payouts. It also had over 350 M-TIBA healthcare facilities across the country with over 4,000 people sign ups a day.
The scale up in Kenya has seen it being awarded the 2017 Financial Times/IFC Transformational Business Award in Sustainable Development, with a focus on Health, Wellness and Disease Prevention.
Developed by CarePay, PharmAccess Foundation and Safaricom, M-TIBA says the number of savers has been increasing 56% month on month since January 2017. In addition caregivers can send money to their dependents – certain that the money will be used for health only. M-TIBA also provides a platform for healthcare benefits, such as vouchers and insurance.
According to Kees Van Lede, CEO, CarePay, “The support of all our partners has been invaluable in building M-TIBA and us being recognised as a transformational business. We’ve built a platform that allows for a more efficient and transparent way of connecting patients, doctors, payers and governments.
“M-TIBA builds trust that resources are being spent for the right person, for the right care, at the right place, at the right time, at low transaction costs. We will continue to scale up by working with great partners from across the entire health industry. Building healthcare inclusion is a huge task and cannot be achieved by a single organisation.”
So far, more than ten donor and corporate schemes are running on M-TIBA. In April 2017, PharmAccess strengthened the partnership with Kenya’s National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), applying M-TIBA within an NHIF health insurance scheme.
Two out of every five people in Kenya, who need care, do not seek treatment from hospitals because they lack the money. Nearly half of all healthcare expenditure in the country is still out-of-pocket. Healthcare facilities on M-TIBA are being quality-assessed using to the internationally recognized SafeCare standards. They gain access to affordable credit through the Medical Credit Fund – based on their M-TIBA payments history. In addition, PharmAccess offers a range of services, including training modules to help them further improve their business and the clinical care provided.
Medical Credit Fund, part of the PharmAccess Group, was also shortlisted for this year’s FT/IFC Transformational Business Award in the category Achievement in Transformational Finance. Last year, the Kwara State Health Insurance Program won the award in the category Achievement in Sustainable Development: Maternal & Infant Health.
“For many Kenyans, a trip to the clinic can create real financial strain. Unexpected healthcare costs are still one of the main reasons people fall even further into poverty. This award is a great recognition of how mobile – through innovative solutions like M-TIBA – is transforming access to essential services for millions of Kenyans,” said Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom.