PSI has made a commitment to improve primary care networks.
As the mother of a three-year-old, Ma Hla* had her hands full. But when her husband was imprisoned for three years, looking after her family became even more difficult.
Living in Yangon, Myanmar, Ma Hla supported herself and her son by selling traditional snacks. It wasn’t easy to make enough money for the two of them. At night, she would stay up worrying about what would happen if her son got sick. Visiting the doctor costs 4,000 kyat (USD 3). That was more than she could afford.
In Myanmar, people often pay doctors in the private system full price for services. For many, the cost of care is out of reach. In late 2016, a PSI Myanmar staff member arrived at Ma Hla’s doorstep to tell her about a new project that could benefit her family. Each family member would receive a health card, entitling them to significantly reduced costs at the nearest private doctor.
The project, funded by the 3MDG Fund with the support of the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports, pays doctors an annual amount based on those who are registered to receive their services.
The doctor then provides a range of primary healthcare services, including family planning. In return, patients receive quality, subsidized, and affordable care. Ma Hla immediately registered her family. From then on, she only had to pay 500 kyat (less than USD 0.40) to visit the doctor.
“I used to buy medicines from grocery stores because I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. Now, the cost is the same, but with more care, so we go to the doctor when we get sick,” Ma Hla says.
Ma Hla’s family is one of more than 2,500 low income households in Yangon benefiting from these innovative health cards.
*Name changed for privacy purposes
Courtesy of 3MDG