Social enterprise success eases the healthcare gap

Hal Glasser

On September 23, 2019, the UN issued its Declaration on Universal Health Coverage. Less than six months later, the global Covid pandemic began. The gap between the aspirations of the Declaration and reality are only widening. In lower income communities without access to basic quality healthcare, many will die waiting for governments to fund and implement large-scale systemic changes such as Universal Health Coverage.

Fortunately, there are social healthcare enterprises that are not waiting to try to fill the gap for those with least access. They are pursuing sustainable business models that include ‘bricks and mortar’ and digital platforms and complement the evolving government health systems and payment schemes. The most successful are ready to scale to reach many more communities. However, because they focus on serving those with the least economic means, they often cannot attract the capital to expand. Philanthropy can do much more to help fill this financing gap. While Alliance magazine’s recent issue (December 2020) and webinar on global health philanthropy raised vital questions, especially about health inequality, the solutions offered by social healthcare enterprises would benefit from more attention.

Healthcare philanthropists can have an immediate impact by supporting the social enterprises working to provide basic healthcare to millions of people today.

Hal Glasser
President, Health Impact Partnership

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