One year ago, Heaven’s Family provided a grant for two of Khua Hrang’s most promising young people, selected by the village elders, to attend 6 months of nurses’ training and 4 months of a hospital internship. Pa Ling, age 26, and Zung Pan Men, age 19, can now diagnose and treat common ailments and tropical diseases. And they have just opened a for-profit medical clinic and pharmacy in Khua Hrang courtesy of another start-up grant from Heaven’s Family. Today I visited them.
I learned that there are two other small medical clinics in Khua Hrang (population 1,600). One focuses solely on treating malaria. The other offers some very basic medical services and medicines of questionable quality and efficacy. Both are free clinics funded by foreign NGOs.
Prior to our new clinic, the quality of free healthcare in Khua Hrang has been wholly determined, not by community needs, but by the amount of funding the sponsoring NGOs can afford and the integrity of its indigenous staff (thus the reason one clinic only provides malaria treatment). The result is relatively poor healthcare in Khua Hrang.
But now begins—because of our new medical clinic—for-profit healthcare in Khua Hrang. To compete against the two freebies, our medical clinic will have to provide superior care, and so much so that people will be willing to pay for it. So, because of a little capitalism, the quality of available healthcare is about to improve in Khua Hrang.
And maybe, with the addition of our superior medical clinic, the other two clinics will find themselves needing to upgrade. Maybe someone will even eventually open a competing for-profit medical clinic that will further improve the quality of healthcare in Khua Hrang.
Keep in mind that we’re also addressing the real heart of the problem in Khua Hrang, which is poverty. Through micro-credit, we intend to provide more income-earning opportunities so that the poor will be able lift themselves through business. Then, those prospering people will be able to afford the superior health care being offered.
But what about the poor who can’t help themselves, like elderly widows and the handicapped? If we can help most in the village prosper, they’ll be better able to take care of those within their community who must rely on charity. And the best part is that no one will be able to “scam the system,” because there will never be a bureaucracy handling medical claims in a village of 1,600 people! Almost makes me want to move to Khua Hrang!
Below are some photos from the day that I thought you’d enjoy.