A story of inclusion, innovation and transformation

Blum Khan, chief executive of Metropolitan Health, says: “Since our humble beginnings in 1999, our provision of cost-effective healthcare and excellent service, as well as our innovative thinking have contributed to the rapid growth of the company and helped us to secure a leading market share.”

Exceptional growth is reflected in the rise of claims processed, which have increased by a staggering 6859% since 2006. “At the heart of our story are people. We live their stories on a daily basis as we support private and public sector employers in their quest to provide their employees across the diverse South African workplace with access to affordable, quality healthcare.

“Our story demonstrates how growth can be leveraged to drive transformation and create a more inclusive healthcare system,” Khan says. Transformation in our business “As a proudly South African company, we are committed to fostering a collaborative, entrepreneurial culture that embraces diversity.

“Annual broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) audits illustrate the impact of transformation in action. In the last five years we have increased our skills development spend for our B-BBEE scorecard from 38% to 89%.

“Our current B-BBEE status as a Level 2 contributor and a B-BBEE recognition level of 125% are the results of a relentless drive to lead transformation in South Africa,” says Khan. Dr Unati Nemuhuyuni, head of the public private partnerships division, says: “I joined Metropolitan Health five years ago and my journey with the company has shown me that this is a business genuinely committed to transformation and gender empowerment.

“I was provided with many opportunities and support to develop from management to executive director. I feel that I can make a real difference here in building a more inclusive South Africa. I am just one example of many who have been developed and nurtured in this way by Metropolitan Health. “That’s why I remain at this special place.”

Transformation in our communities

Khan says: “We are also passionate about sustainable transformation in our communities through corporate social investment and enterprise development.”

A good example is the company’s partnership with young Khayelitsha social entrepreneur Sizwe Nzima. The partnership provides all-round support and mentorship to Nzima’s start-up business, Iyeza Express, which improves health access in the township by using bicycles to deliver chronic medication. Speaking about his Metropolitan Health mentors, Nzima says: “Nosipho and Siraaj treat me like a young brother who they are helping to walk the path to business success…they are not just letting me go into the jungle, they are walking through the jungle with me.”

Transformation of the healthcare system

Many South Africans still don’t have access to affordable, quality healthcare. Khan says Metropolitan Health is “actively engaging and developing new ways to transform the healthcare system so that all South Africans can access this”.

Affordable access to quality primary and preventative healthcare needs to form the basis of a future, transformed healthcare system, he says. “We are taking action to bring affordable, quality primary and preventative healthcare to the uninsured. “An example of this is our partnership with pharmacy group Alpha Pharm. Together we are establishing a national network of pharmacy-based clinics in communities to deliver preventative and primary healthcare services to the insured and uninsured,” Khan says.

Many of these clinics are in remote areas where access is limited. The initiative will therefore also help to alleviate the burden on state facilities. “We are aware that our journey to creating a more inclusive healthcare environment has just begun. As we move ahead in our quest to provide quality healthcare to all, we look forward to writing the next chapters of the Metropolitan Health story.

“At the heart of our business is our purpose, which is all about better healthcare for more people,” says Khan.

This article has been paid for an signed off by Metropolitan Health.

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