Oserian Flowers signs its employees to mobile health insurance
Kenya's leading grower and exporter of cut flowers, Oserian Development Company, has signed its workers to a mobile health insurance scheme becoming the first flower firm globally and large employer in the agricultural sector in Kenya to embrace e-health.
The signing coincides with a visit to the country by Dutch investors seeking investment opportunities in the health sector this week. The mobile health wallet solution will be run over M- Tiba, a Dutch platform developed by CarePay in partnership with Safaricom and PharmAccess Foundation. Dutch healthcare system is rated by Eurohealth Consumer Index as the best on the continent, for seven years in a row.
The development marks a key milestone for the welfare of over 4,600 workers at the expansive Naivasha-based flower farm and adds up to a host of staff programmes the farm has rolled out that have become the industry’s benchmarks including a modern day care and breast feeding (crèche) center for staff children and wellness clinics for cancer screening.
“Our core business is production and daily supply of the best of Kenya flowers globally which wouldn’t be possible without a healthy workforce. As we kept expanding, it was becoming more and more challenging to operate the staff outpatient scheme as we brought in more employees each year,” said Kirimi Mpungu, the Director of Administration at Oserian.
“We needed a solution that was sustainable and manageable which could bring new insights into how to further improve staff health and wellbeing. We’re pleased to be among those leading the way on mobile health innovation and we see M-TIBA as the future for the management of outpatient schemes by employers and insurers,” Mr Kirimi said.
Oserian, a high technology farm has developed a policy on health based on Sustainable Development Goal No 3 that is entrenched in Kenya’s Vision 2030, placing health as a foundation for economic and social growth. It falls within the farm’s Flori4Life pillar that seeks to make lives better for staff and surrounding communities.
Under the scheme, over 8,000 users made up of employees and family members will receive an M-TIBA wallet on their mobile phone, allowing them to get access to outpatient care at Oserian Health Centres. The medical data collected via the M-TIBA gives accurate insights into common ailments – and this allows for targeted interventions to keep staff healthy and motivated, Mr Mpungu reiterated.
Kees Van Lede, CEO, CarePay says, “This is another first for the Kenyan floriculture sector. Oserian was the pioneer in exporting flowers from Kenya. Now global buyers and consumers know that there is world-leading mobile technology enabling the people behind the flowers to access the best possible health care.”
Mary Kinyua, Human Resource Manager at Oserian, adds, “Employee health is very important to us. We have free outpatient scheme for all employees, spouses and four children at our Health Centers. Froma business perspective, we needed to move to paperless management of medical scheme benefits to make this important benefit more efficient and get real-time information that helps us take better care of staff.”
With M-TIBA, large employers report double-digit percentage savings on outpatient schemes delivered through real time access to data enabling targeted interventions.
Oserian is the largest flower farm on the shores of Lake Naivasha, established in the late 1960s by the Zwager family. It produces high quality flowers for export, utilizing modern technology to grow 160 hectares of roses, 40 hectares of carnations and 25 hectares of green fillers.
Oserian provides livelihoods to over 4600 workers who enjoy an industry-leading range of benefits and world-class working conditions. It has invested in environmentally friendly green technology for its production process – including natural methods of pest control. It has pioneered the use of geothermal energy in flower production, through climate control of its green houses.