The waste insurance clients, which now include 500 families, must simply hand over non- organic household waste, such as plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and paper once a month.
Gamal Albinsaid, 24, a young graduate of Brawijaya University’s School of Medicine in Malang, East Java started a unique movement in his native Indonesia – enabling people without health insurance to access medical services in exchange for collecting trash for recycling.
The idea to establish a waste insurance scheme stemmed from Gamal’s concern that a three-year-old child of a trash hunter had died from untreated diarrhea. The parents, who made a paltry Rp 10,000 a day, could not afford to bring the child to a clinic, let alone a hospital, for fear of the expenses.
Along with several friends, he established health services at the Mawar Husada clinic in front of their college on Jl. Veteran, Malang. As a means of payment, patients only needed to bring garbage for recycling.
The waste insurance clients, which now include 500 families, must simply hand over non-organic household waste, such as plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and paper once a month.
At the clinic, the waste is weighed, priced and used as a sort of insurance premium. The premium started at Rp 1,000 and is now set at Rp 10,000 per month. It is this premium that serves as a savings account to pay for healthcare costs at the clinic.
Gamal purposefully chose waste as every household produces it. “We wish to mobilise this resource, which the people throw away,” he said.
The system is going well in Malang. Local residents around the clinic have enthusiastically greeted the waste insurance scheme and are now starting to see the health benefits.
Some of the regions that will serve as locations for Gamal’s waste insurance clinics include Denpasar, Medan, Manado and Blitar. He wants to replicate this scheme nation-wide, and then abroad.
Gamal is currently interning at the Saiful Anwar Hospital in Malang. Nevertheless, since 2013, he has served as CEO of Indonesia Medika, an innovative healthcare company with members from many universities across Indonesia.
He successfully beat 511 other social entrepreneurs from 90 countries to obtain the Unilever Sustainable Living Award, which has Prince Charles as patron.
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