By Ester G. Dipasupil for the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Olive, Marilou and Melanie have something to sell as franchise holders—and it’s not hotdogs, mineral water or beauty salon services.
The three are licensed midwives, part of a growing network of franchisees under the social franchising for health program for emerging small entrepreneurs.
Unlike the traditional franchising system that hands down successful business practices to one willing to adopt a brand’s concept and systems, social franchising exists not just for the profit motive but also a social purpose.
On Oct. 23, the second Global Conference on Social Franchising for Health opened in Cebu City, with the aim of sharing knowledge and best practices with partner implementers, donors, experts and policy makers.
Among other topics, the conference will zero in on the role of social franchising in the delivery of affordable and quality maternal healthcare, as seen from the experience of people like Olive, Marilou and Melanie.
The conference, which ends today, has drawn representatives from 40 countries (the first meeting took place in Kenya in 2011). It was organized by the Private Sector Healthcare Initiative of the University of California San Francisco Global Health Group.
Population Services Pilipinas Inc. (PSPI), one of the participants, for example, will talk on the impact of its BlueStar Pilipinas clinics, a family planning franchise run by midwives, on improving equitable access to high quality maternal and family planning services through their franchisees, especially in underserved populations.
“We also want to share the experience of BlueS tar Pilipinas with the global social franchising community regarding the sustainability of our services through the accreditation of midwife-franchisees as providers of Philhealth’s Maternity Care Package,” said PSPI Chief Executive Virgilio Pernito.
The Philhealth coverage for mothers about to give birth is also a boon for the participating midwife in the BlueStar social franchise who gets almost double the usual delivery fee (from P3,500 to P4,000) paid to her by the patient.
BlueStar opened its doors in 2008 to largely marginalized women in need of maternal care. There are 196 BS clinics in Luzon, 33 in the Visayas and 37 in Mindanao.
The midwives’ stories from a series of unfortunate events to fairytale endings as successful franchisees are straight out of a sudsy soap series.
Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/180797/midwives-deliver-as-entrepreneurs#ixzz3HGa2EeNT
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