“Quality healthcare is not a luxury good. I want to democratize it.”
Those are fighting words from Dr. Nthasbiseng Legoete, founder of Quali Health, a privately incorporated South African primary care provider in underserved communities.
A Nation in Critical Need
According to Bloomberg, more than 80 percent of the nation’s population has no medical insurance and depends wholly on a still-developing public health system. This makes Dr. Legoete’s mission not only admirable, but practical. South Africa is a population of haves and have-nots, with quality healthcare available to only those few – one in five – who can afford it. The working poor, who barely earn a living wage, are left to “hope for the best” if they need to access public health services.
People must often arrive before 4 a.m. to join the queue for a chance of being seen, not a guarantee. And if they are seen, they’ve likely waited all day, missing out on a day’s pay and sometimes putting their job at risk. Forced to choose between work and getting medical attention, it is not uncommon for South Africans to die from preventable and treatable illnesses.
Dr. Legoete and her team at Quali Health believe this is a choice no one should be forced to make. She created Quali Health with respect for human dignity in mind, providing accessible, technology-driven, and high-quality medical services. Each clinic is clean, bright and welcoming – a new experience for many of the people seeking help.
Ensuring Business Continuity Requires Bold Decision Making
A successful first year quickly led to opportunities to open clinics in three other high demand regions. Not only are critical needs being met, but jobs are being created at an unprecedented rate. And 96 percent of those jobs are held by women. However, success can also lead to cash flow constraints— a harsh reality for those doing the most meaningful work. The capital needed to ensure business growth and continuity is not always quick to follow. The cost of daily operations, medical supplies and staffing often need to be met before payments for services arrive.
At this critical juncture, Dr. Legoete sought the strategic and financial assistance provided by a local factor partner. Access to well-structured working capital through invoice factoring allowed the business to cover the financial gap between billing and payment. Now Dr. Legoete and her team can focus on reaching more people in need of good healthcare, with a goal of opening and operating 100 clinics, creating 5,000 new jobs.
Quali Health is committed to helping end inequity in South African by leveling the playing field for this most basic human right—good health. Dr. Legoete put it simply in her critically-acclaimed TEDx Talk. “Quality healthcare should not be limited to the haves.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.