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Franchise Health Clinic Network

Franchise Health Clinic Network is a franchise system of distribution of health clinic centered around qualified nurses as entrepreneurs in remote areas in Caldas. The health clinic serves as a basic clinic and drug stores, while maintaining a high standard of medical services that is governed by the Franchise Health Clinic Network. The qualified nurses provide basic diagnostic support, maintain a digital database of patients’ health information, and exchange that information with urban medical centers or universities for more detailed diagnostic support (e.g. The local clinics are financed through a combination of individual investments, MFI loans, and subsidy or donation. Nurses become franchisees after all loans are repaid. The result is better medical services in remote regions while helping the economy through a locally operated franchise. By providing the most basic medical services and bulk-buying of medical supplies throughout the region, a lower cost could be maintained.

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Written by DeletedUser

Basic health-care access to remote regions

By providing the clinics in remote areas of Caldas, the Franchised Health Clinic Network helps with the distribution of clinics in much needed areas in addition to current network. By focusing very few basic health care services in close proximity to population in need, especially to children and women, while more serious problems can be relayed to urban clinics centered around universities or medical centers, the model could be successful.

Digital Patient Database Caldas

By maintaining a digital patient database of the patients, a history of health information with particular patients can be created for better treatment and medicine. These could also be valuable case studies for treatment used by all clinics within the network.The information collected over the wider region of Caldas would also be valuable for the study of trend data for macro health care plans over a longer period of time. Serious case could also be relayed digitally to relevant doctors in this network for further treatments locally.

Franchise model

The franchise model becomes a reliable model of distribution because a same standard of medical services are enforced throughout the franchise to build a brand identity. And patients come to use the services because of such identity.  By focusing on the most basic medical services and bulk-buying of medical supplies throughout the region, a lower cost could be maintained. One-time costs such as digital equipments or construction could be donated or financed through micro-financing loans ,while the ongoing expenses are tied into a sustainable profit making business plan of the franchisee. There has been success through similar approach through CFWshops in Kenya, or Aravind Eye Care's Vision for India.

Empowering locals

By empowering local qualified nurses, they become local entrepreneurs that contribute to the local economy (e.g. hiring staff and paying for essential local services for the clinic).

OpenIdeo Collaborations

During the week of consultation we have added a few edits to our original submission. A mobile unit is added to extend the accessibility of the franchise health clinic network to even more remote regions. The unit could be an investment in a motorcycle or scooter to give speed to the service in rugged landscape of Caldas (compared to bike), and also to limit the cost of the investment (compared to an ambulance). A "herbal" extension is also added so that the franchisee could opt for a herbal line of business should they have the additional investment to do so. This herbal extension would also operate with the principles of the franchise, meaning that it would be standardized over the network to maintain a high quality of medical results. 

Credits to our collaborators:

Thanks for your suggestions and criticisms!


How do you envision this idea making money?

The local qualified nurse double as an entrepreneur (franchisee), putting down an initial investment and loan from MFI, while selling quality medical services and medicine at a below-market price to the local inhabitants. The franchisee maintains a profit by selling a combination of medical services, medicine and health products. By providing the most basic medical services and bulk-buying of medical supplies throughout the region, a lower cost could be maintained. Government subsidy and/or donor money maybe essential to keep the price of essential medicine low, while other products in the shop will be sold to generate a sustainable income.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

A medical network that has quality medicine provided in vicinity of the inhabitants in need, the database system also helps define health policies in the longer run.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

More extensive health-care network, improving health of local inhabitants, empowering local nurses as entrepreneurs, and building a network of community around the local clinics.

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Researching the number of qualified nurses in the country and targeting them as customers / investors for this franchise model, drafting a business plan that works with the current medical distribution network and pricing in Colombia.


Join the conversation:

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I think that the franchise model is an important step for putting solutions in the hands of those in the community -- thus solving both health and economic challenges in one fell swoop.

If we look beyond this particular community context, I think there are important ways of scaling this idea to nations/communities where there ARE health clinics, but where important health issues still need to be addressed, specifically with regard to PREVENTATIVE health.

I am interested in holistic preventive medicine as a way of reducing the systemic factors that lead to health problems. One issue that does not get addressed nearly enough is stress and depression. I read recently that soon depression will be among the most prevalent health issues in the world. I was recently involved in a community health center research project in the US, which found that the number one self-assessed health factor in urban communities was the STRESS of living in that community itself (not having enough money to meet family needs, no accessibility to efficient transportation, high rates of crime and violence) -- which leads to chronic health problems such as heart disease to obesity, alcoholism and suicide.

Those with economic means can go on vacation to "get away from it all," can afford yoga classes and massages, and have the time and money to exercise. Those without, don't.

What if we could bring holistic preventative measures to low-income communities, while at the same time creating economic opportunity?

I think the franchise model you have developed would be suitable here -- health clinics may exist in some communities, but community members could still be given the capital and training necessary to open their own PREVENTATIVE health centers that could serve as urban/rural oases, create job opportunities, and increase the overall health of community members without them having to "get away."

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