Patients in Indonesia can trade recyclable trash for doctor visits in a clever plan to get affordable medical care to people in rural villages.
Three in every five Indonesians have no health insurance and with no money to pay for doctors, they put off medical care allowing easily treated illnesses to turn into major problems. Dr. Gamal Albinsaid looked for a substitute for money– something people already had that they could trade for health care. He didn’t have to look much farther than Indonesia’s trash-strewn streets.
“There’s garbage everywhere on the ground,” he said, according to Fast Company. “So we decided to use garbage as a financial resource.” Only about half the trash produced in Indonesia is collected, which creates health problems and allows tons of valuable recyclables to go to waste.
Albinsaid created Garbage Clinical Insurance to take in trash, sell it to recyclers and use the money to pay for health care. Four pounds of plastic or 11 pounds of cardboard will sell for less than a dollar, but that’s enough to buy a basic health insurance policy that pays for two visits to a doctor a month.
Albinsaid has set up his own clinic and his company has helped 3,500 people buy health coverage. For his innovative service, the young doctor won a prize of €50,000 and mentoring support from Cambridge University in the 2013 Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Awards.
(WATCH the video below or READ more in Fast Company)