Medical Credit Fund clinics are private health care facilities in Sub-Sahara Africa located in urban or rural areas. They are run by a medical practitioner and provide basic primary healthcare to local surrounding low-income communities, including HIV/Aids Care and Maternal and Child Health.
The facility itself is usually a small one or two-storey building and offers outpatient care and in some cases also has between five to twenty beds to accommodate patients. Half of the clinics are equipped with a small operating theatre in which they usually perform less than ten basic surgeries a month. The number of patient visits per clinic varies largely from 5,000 to around 30,000 per year of which up to 70% of them belong to the lower income segments. Most patients visit the clinic for illnesses such as Malaria, HIV/AIDS, antenatal care, respiratory infections, chronic diseases, skin infections and diarrhea.
The average clinic will have about one or more doctors or midwifes, up to ten nurses and one or two people working in the laboratory and pharmacy. It is common that three external specialists visit the clinic a few times a week to provide additional health care services, which are usually carried out by gynaecologists and paediatricians. Besides the medical personnel there will also be someone for the administration and around three employees for the cleaning and small maintenance of the facility. Because the clinics are privately owned, the staff is usually highly motivated and committed to provide optimal services to the people in the surrounding communities.
Generally speaking it can be said that the quality of the facility and the services it provides is low of standard: the building needs maintenance, staff needs to be trained, the pharmacy has limited stock, equipment is unavailable or outdated, administrative systems are usually manual and insufficient for internal management purposes. In order to address these issues and increase the level of services and quality standards the clinic requires training and access to financing, with which they are able to invest in for example IT systems, equipment or infrastructure.