The Grameen Bank and other microfinance programs have proven that bottoms-up business models can enable the poor to lift themselves from poverty and are sustainable. The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recognized the impact microfinance has had–and will continue to have–in enabling millions of families around the world to break the cycle of poverty once and for all. Many of the families of Grameen borrowers have gone from illiterate and poor to educated professionals in a single generation.
The success of low-cost prepaid cell phones has further proven that the poor can and will pay for sophisticated and high-quality services that are designed and priced for their needs. It also shows that such services become self-sustaining with the right cost structure and pricing.
In establishing Grameen Health (GH), we aim to extend the success microfinance to health care. The mission of Grameen Health (GH) is to establish sustainable best practices in a broad range of health care services for a broad market including the poor. GH will enable the poor to be self sufficient in addressing their health care needs such that they can accept but not require outside assistance. This mission will be developed in a number of ways that complement one another.
GH will design and develop a bottoms up health care infrastructure that can take lessons from successful efforts around the world and improve upon them to deliver the highest quality health care, in an efficient and sustainable manner, primarily to the poorest of the poor but also to the non poor, who may pay a little more than the target population.
To achieve these goals, GH will coordinate and support a global effort to research and develop various existing and new delivery models and best practices on an ongoing basis, creating a conduit of critical information and insight for those working to achieve the goals of sustainable and high-quality health care for all.