High Value Low-Cost Specialists
High Value Low-Cost Specialists are an alternative to offer better outcomes, treatment efficiency and seeker care satisfaction at an affordable cost. Seekers believe it is quite logical to assume that a professional who performs a procedure 2,000 times a year will be more proficient and efficient than one who performs the same procedure 100 times. Existing examples in eye, cancer and diabetes care show the viability and feasibility of designing and delivering a superior engagement for a specialized treatment area; an upgraded product which a growing number of public health clients will choose to pay for.
Today it is common to hear that specialized care remains beyond the reach of the majority of health seekers due to a combination of geographic and financial constraints. Interventions such as Unjani Health Clinics, Jacaranda Maternity and Aravind Eye Hospital offer affordable and high quality specialized care to patients and show promise at scale. There is growing evidence that there is a market of seekers who are willing and able to pay an affordable fee for services they perceive as superior to those offered for free at public clinics.
In the future, specialized care, at affordable rates, can work hand in hand with the public healthcare system to improve quality of patient care while directly improving specific health outcomes. A novel public/private approach at policy level may also reduce the strain felt on the public health system given growing service demands in low resource communities and limited public sector health care professionals.
In order for the prevalence of high value low cost specialists in South Africa to be reached, the following challenges must be addressed:
In order to encourage the scale and reach of health services, the following questions ought to be considered:
How might we policy makers stimulate high quality affordable specialized private sector care focused on a country’s health care needs and gaps?
How might we co-design the legal and regulatory protocols involved in establishing high quality specialized care practices while helping to keep their costs low?
How might we scale affordable specialized care at the regional and global level?