At the event in Accra on March 23, the team hosted national and international partners and guests to celebrate a new era for the Fund. Guests of honor H.E. Ambassador in Ghana Jeroen Verheul and Senior Policy Advisor Ms. Anouk Aarts officially launched the second fund, while MCF issued the first MCF-II loan to Emil Memorial Hospital.
Small and medium-sized private health facilities are crucial to increasing access to healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite a growing demand for its services, the sector faces unique challenges when it comes to funding. Traditional banks often insist on terms that are beyond the capacities of health entrepreneurs.
Arjan Poels, Managing Director Medical Credit Fund shared: “MCF-II will help to further bridge the financing gap, allowing entrepreneurs to finance construction work, purchase equipment, and prevent medicine stock-outs.” MCF loans are combined with support for business and quality improvement using the PharmAccess – SafeCare standards and methodology, through which over 80% of the clients are able to improve their services.
MCF – II will further scale its impact by scaling its digital loan product portfolio, including ‘Cash Advance’. Cash Advance allows healthcare entrepreneurs to easily access working capital loans using their mobile phone. The product has been introduced in Kenya 5 years ago and since then grew exponentially. For providers, no conventional collateral is required, and loans can be disbursed in less than 24 hours. MCF will make the product available to health entrepreneurs in Ghana in the second quarter of this year. Key note speaker Dr. Peter Yeboah, Executive Director of Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) said: “MCF is a game changing intervention. It helps providers to get access to medicines and to get the necessary infrastructure capacity to improve access to quality care. It also works as an equalizer, enabling facilities in remote areas to have access to loans and a chance to improve in quality, which communities will benefit from’’.
At the event, PharmAccess Ghana acknowledged the key role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, which anchored the funding round for MCF with a first equity injection of EUR 7.5 million in January, 2021, to cater to the demand for loans during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.