As an insurer and health service provider, GK implements an affordable health microinsurance scheme, running a network of community-based health centers and satellite clinics, managing a referral system for secondary and tertiary care, and coordinating outreach health services (domiciliary service) by community-based female health workers. GK’s operational cost recovery rate has reached 83% (at the stage of continuous expansion) in 2008, up from 38% in 1997.
GK currently operates 48 health centers in 14 districts and 50 upazilla (subdistricts), and provides primary health care services to 2.2 million people. Each health center is staffed by a qualified physician, an office manager, a female paramedic/nurse, a laboratory technician and five female health assistants. Every center has the capacity to serve a population of 30-35 thousand people. GK plans to gradually expand into a countrywide program.
Health microinsurance is pivotal in GK activities, ensuring target group participation and raising revenue for the program. The scheme employs a sliding scale fee structure. Nonmembers of Grameen Bank pay slightly more (300 taka or about $4.28) than members (200 taka or about $2.85), but there is no distinction in service and benefits, and each plan covers up to six members of a cardholder’s family. The plan provides free preventive care, family planning, and health education services to all, irrespective of enrollment. For health center visits enrollees pay 20 taka or about $0.29 and nonenrollees pay 50 taka or about $0.71. Enrollees also receive a discount on medicine and laboratory tests.
Grameen uses Intel's Laptop-based software for identifying high-risk pregnancies, tracking patients, allocating resources and training community health workers. Read more here.