Good Health for All People in Colombia
Colombian health innovator Bive joins Business Call to Action by providing low-income families with access to timely, high-quality and affordable healthcare
Colombia-based social enterprise Bive Healthcare has joined Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a pledge to provide more than 27,000 low-income clients with access to timely, high-quality and low-cost healthcare services. To achieve this, the company will scale up its inclusive health model to three new regions across Colombia by 2020.
Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$8 per day in purchasing power as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Although 95 percent of Colombia’s population is covered by public health insurance, this bureaucratic and often inefficient system does not provide timely access to diagnostic services. Many in need of a specialist consultation wait between two and five months for approval.
Doctors working for the public health system also face severe challenges: their income is 75 percent less than doctors in the private market, and they often wait for months to receive payments. For this reason, most doctors prefer to work outside the public health system. Colombians who can’t afford private coverage face long wait times as a result, and receive low-quality services. Delayed diagnosis of disease contributes to poor health outcomes and decreases workers’ productivity and incomes.
Bive helps low-income people to access high-quality, private healthcare services by connecting them to its network of specialists, who provide preferential times and prices – enabling timely diagnosis to prevent complications. Its network of more than 135 medical specialists, laboratory test and wellness services guarantees users an appointment within seven days at a discount of up to 70 percent [l1] . The company also connects doctors with thousands of potential clients, 90 percent of whom are from low-income communities, and ensures immediate payment for their services.
This inclusive business model involves user memberships at a rate significantly lower than that of private insurance plans. The company is able to offer preferential pricing since membership only covers diagnosis and prevention; treatment must be managed by the public health system. However to assist clients with obtaining timely treatment, Bive provides information on how to get the most out of the public system, including legal advice.
“Bive’s innovative model works by bringing patients in need of timely diagnosis together with qualified physicians,” said Paula Pelaez, BCtA’s Programme Manager. “It cuts through the public health system’s ‘red tape’ while keeping costs down and providing value-added services like a client call center. This inclusive model has great potential to help Colombia reach the Global Goals of good health, ending poverty and economic growth.”
Users can access Bive’s services through a low-cost membership that can either paid directly by through associations, employee funds or cooperatives. The company’s call center provides users with information about its services and enables them to schedule appointments with specialists on a range of issues, including[l2] oral and vision problems.
According to Bive CEO Diana Carolina Quintero Giraldo, “Unlike any other health service provider, our business is built on the needs poor communities. With Access to timely, high-quality and affordable healthcare, low-income families can prevent disease complications and avoid lost income due to sick leave, which improves to their incomes and wellbeing.”
As the first healthcare service provider in Colombia catering to low-income communities, Bive looks forward to robust growth among farmers[l3] . Indeed, of the company’s 21,000 members in 2016, 8,000 were coffee farmers and their families. By the end of 2017, it aims to provide access to early diagnosis of visual impairments, including cataracts and glaucoma, for 1,000 growers in the Caldas region – critical for maintaining their livelihoods.
For further information:
BCtA: Aimee Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bive: Diana Carolina Quintero Giraldo at email@example.com
BctA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About Bive: Social enterprise Bive allows low-income families to access timely, affordable and high-quality private healthcare services from its network of more than 130[l4] providers in Colombia’s Caldas Department. Its providers range from specialized physicians to diagnostic and well-being services. In addition to matching its members with affordable private diagnosis and prevention, the company advises patients about their rights to treatment in the public health system. Bive has also developed social-impact projects focused on the unique health needs in the communities where it works, including among coffee growers. For more information about Bive and its inclusive approach to healthcare (in Spanish), visit http://bive.co.
[l1]On the market price
[l2]Additionally, Bive develops social programs on health with its communities and partners helping them to access to promptly diagnosis and treatment in health risk factors previously identified, as:
Healthy Smiles Project, that facilitates access to basic dental care (education, prevention of teeth loss) and specialized dental care (treatment of malocclusion) to 1250 children from base of the pyramid.
Sonrisas Cafeteras (“Coffee Smiles”) that brings back the smile to 900 coffee growers, through
oral health rehabilitation, prophylaxis and education.
Vision Cafetera (“Coffee Vision”): detects and treats preventable blindness causes such as cataract and glaucoma to 1000 coffee growers to keep generating income for their families by restoring their vision through the use of glasses or low complexity surgery.