According to Zarmina Jafar, co-founder and worldwide head of strategy at The Health Bank (THB), a tech-enabled supplier of healthcare services, it is profitable in all of its territories, including Pakistan.
The Singapore-based business provides at-home, individualised, and remote healthcare services in addition to serving other markets, including Pakistan’s severely underserved healthcare sector.
In an exclusive interview, Jafar said that for some conditions, going to the hospital isn’t always necessary. “Our model offers remote monitoring while you’re at home and hospital-level treatment. This makes it possible to coordinate general therapy and recuperation.
Pakistan’s healthcare system continues to be underdeveloped, with much fewer hospitals, physicians, and beds per 1,000 residents than the global average. The coronavirus pandemic exposed Pakistan’s weaknesses, with the rise in cases driving the country’s shoddy infrastructure to its knees.
Pakistan’s healthcare system is in a very poor situation, according to Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, Secretary General of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA).
Our population is expanding quickly, yet we lag far behind Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh in the area, according to Sajjad.
Deteriorated road infrastructure creates extra issues since it lengthens travel times to and from healthcare facilities in combination with a broken healthcare system. Rural Pakistan is where the issue is most severe.
Jafar stated that THB seeks to address this issue.
Jafar, who has a background in economics and policymaking, recognised the need for technologically advanced and patient-centered healthcare management in 2016. She later joined the THB founding team and is currently the CEO of Pakistan.
THB was formerly valued at $100 million and has regional headquarters in Dubai, Kuwait, and Karachi. Jafar did not provide specific figures but stated that the company would be valued more as a result of the present fund-raising effort.
THB employs interdisciplinary teams that include nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, and diabetic educators. THB is currently present in Karachi and Lahore.
“We have a model for growth. The region has enormous potential for healthcare. While continuing to grow in our current areas, we are constantly extending our business into the UK and Saudi Arabia. There is a need for capital as a result. The business itself is still lucrative.”
THB, which has treated more than 100,000 patients worldwide, aims to offer a comprehensive variety of services on a subscription/fee for service basis, she said.
Jafar said an average monthly expense for a patient ranges between Rs3,000 and Rs,5000 in Pakistan
“When consumers (patients) can use a smartphone to financially manage their lives, why not conduct healthcare management digitally too?
“THB aims to fill gaps in the traditional health sector model, offering continuity of care, remote monitoring and health management.
“Access to healthcare digitally can be cost effective for many patients.”
She claimed that according to her company’s approach of remote monitoring, improved healthcare outcomes may be enabled throughout communities and hospital visits can be avoided, all while lessening the strain on a healthcare system that is already under strain.
“Our service provision guarantees that patient results are maximized and that controlling one’s health is made simple. In addition, with our international partners in the UK, USA, Germany, and other countries, we can obtain second opinions from some of the greatest experts who support everything from tests to visits and insurance processing.
According to Jafar, the business continuously tests and researches smart gadgets, choosing the most accurate and innovative ones before localising them for best use.
The CEO of Pakistan directs the company’s strategic course with a focus on growing the client base, entering new markets, and forming strategic relationships and alliances with important stakeholders.