Uganda’s clinicPesa helps people save money for healthcare

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Ugandan startup clinicPesa is employing its micro-savings platform to help users set aside dedicated healthcare funds to tackle the lack of access to traditional health insurance.

Initially formed last year, clinicPesa allows users to save money to pay medical bills and purchase drugs at any clinic, hospital or pharmacy registered on the platform.

Individuals can use the Airtel and MTN mobile money services to set money aside, while businesses are also able to save on behalf of their employees. Healthcare institutions can register with clinicPesa in order to get paid instantly by patients that has accumulated healthcare funds overtime.

Chrispinus Onyancha, the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO), told Disrupt Africa he was inspired to launch clinicPesa after falling ill early last year and finding himself unable to afford the medical bills.

This was not because he could not afford them, but rather due to being unprepared to offset medical bills given health insurance was not a readily available option.

“Luckily my doctor at that time agreed to treat me first, and be paid later. My only thought at that moment was how many doctors do not, and how many citizens go through the same challenges,” he said.

Onyancha took it upon himself to solve this problem, and a few months later received grant funding from German development organisation GIZ. clinicPesa is now working with the respective health ministries of Uganda and Kenya to run pilot programmes.

“The goal is to close the gap of the innumerable uninsured East African Community citizens with respect to healthcare and medication coverage using IT, as well as to enhance cross border health protection to support the EAC Common Market protocol,” Onyancha said.

“I have always wanted to give back to my community using my expertise, and when I saw a pain point in my community that had not been addressed, I felt that I could do something about it.”

Once its pilots are complete, clinicPesa plans rapid expansion.

“Currently, our plan is to run the model in Uganda and Kenya while learning about user uptake with a focus on integration and cross border health protection. After this is we plan to replicate the same model in the other East African Community partner states,” said Onyancha.

“In five years, we see clinicPesa as the platform that will have helped a majority of the uninsured and unbanked East African Community citizens to become well informed when it comes to healthcare financing and well prepared to take care of their families with regard to healthcare.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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