ECONOMY - PUBLIC HEALTH

Prohibitively expensive healthcare

In 2007, southern Asian governments spent less than 3% of their annual GDP on public health, and in this region of more than one billion low-income people, access to quality affordable healthcare is prohibitively expensive. Lack of access to proper care has hindered millions from escaping cycles of poverty. Moreover, operational healthcare facilities suffer from overcrowding, underfunding, corruption and misallocation of resources. These problems have left much of south Asia, particularly Pakistan, with a critical public health problem for which few viable, effective solutions have been proposed.

Naya Jeevan (meaning new life in Hindi/Urdu) is dedicated to the procurement, provision, and quality control of co-financed catastrophic health insurance for low-income workers, like janitors, drivers, waiters, security guards and domestic helpers. Unlike other micro-health insurance models, Naya Jeevan‘s approach allows for the distribution of the financial burden of high-quality healthcare coverage among employers, sponsors, government or multilateral agencies who pay the majority of the premium. The low-income employees only pay a minor cost and are covered in all major private hospitals in Pakistan, with an annual limit of PKR 150,000 (US$ 1,800), the approximate cost of cardiac bypass surgery.

Designed to leverage the ideals of corporate social responsibility with academic, corporate, and NGO distribution channels, Naya Jeevan is able to purchase large group health insurance plans from underwriters at highly discounted rates. It can therefore offer quality coverage to an underserved, critical market of more than 20 million Pakistanis whose income otherwise precludes them from receiving crucial medical and emergency health services.

NJFK_website

Website: http://www.njfk.org/

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