The national roll out of M-TIBA is underway with 45,000 people now registered and 60 healthcare providers in Nairobi operational. The first outlets in Kisumu, Siaya and Mombasa have been signed up. The M-TIBA mobile health wallet –developed by CarePay, PharmAccess and Safaricom, allows users to send, save and receive funds to access health-care services using their mobile phones.
“For many Kenyans, a trip to the clinic can create real financial strain. And it can have a knock-on effect in people holding down jobs, or having to sell their belongings to pay for basic care. M-TIBA can extend and transform essential services for millions of Kenyans. This is just the start of what we can do together to transform Kenya’s healthcare sector,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
Nearly half of all healthcare expenditure in Kenya is currently paid out-of-pocket. This means many Kenyans have no health insurance or access to mechanisms that pay for basic healthcare. This is a burden on low-income homes, with mothers and young children being particularly vulnerable.
Kees van Lede, Chief Commercial Officer, CarePay Ltd, said: “M-TIBA is a simple and powerful tool for healthcare savings, payments and bonus schemes. This combined offering has been really popular with Nairobians. Each week we are adding more clinics in more areas, so more Kenyans can take control of their healthcare.”
To encourage healthcare savings, the Pfizer Foundation is funding the first M-TIBA bonus scheme. This sees the first 100,000 users – who register and deposit Kshs. 100, or more, per month – receiving a monthly bonus amount of Kshs. 50 for up to 12 months. UAP Old Mutual Health Insurance is also offering them 12 months personal accident cover for the principal member and one spouse, up to the value of Kshs. 8,000.
In September 2016, CarePay and Safaricom activated the option to ‘send money’ to M-TIBA. This enables people to send healthcare funds from their own M-PESA accounts to the M-TIBA accounts of others, such as household staff or relatives.
“M-TIBA allows individuals and organizations to distribute funds for healthcare to people who rely on them. They can be sure that those funds will be used for healthcare only. And they know that their dependents are being treated at clinics that charge fair prices and follow internationally recognized quality standards,” said Kees van Lede.
Funds on M-TIBA can only be used at selected healthcare providers, who form part of the M-TIBA network. PharmAccess works with these clinics and hospitals to improve standards and business management. And they sign up tointernationally recognized‘SafeCare’ standards, which aim to ensure better quality and patient safety.
Millicent Olulo, Country Director PharmAccess Foundation said, “To truly improve healthcare inclusion, we need to help customers save and pay for healthcare. At the same time we must help improve standards and services in those clinics and hospitals that display the M-TIBA sign.”
Users can be registered on M-TIBA through an M-TIBA agent, or self-registerby dialing *253# on their mobile phones. The customer care center can be reached by calling toll-free on 0800 721253.