Subsidy ‘Poor Fund’
LAMB’s catchment area includes up to 1.5 million people, many of whom are marginalized because of their gender or socio-economic status. We seek to help them by:
- providing monetary Poor Fund subsidies for our poorest patients.
- encouraging men to bring their families for treatment by lowering outpatient fees for women and children.
Providing a financially sustainable service in one of the poorest areas of Bangladesh is a challenge. Currently, we charge for the full operational cost of our medical care through patient fees. The average hospital stay costs US$ 10 per day, a caesarian-section US$ 100 and an outpatient clinic visit less than US$ 2.
Many patients are unable to pay the full amounts. They may then apply for a Poor Fund subsidy to cover part or all of their patient fee. Social workers help determine the amount of the Poor Fund subsidy for the patient.
Currently more than 66% of patients receive a subsidy towards their fees, and more than 20% pay nothing at all.
The Poor Fund currently is about US$ 141,000 per year, (about Taka 1 crore). This is provided by generous donations from a variety of people and organizations, mainly outside of Bangladesh, and through some external funding grants.
It is noted that patient fees do not pay for capital improvements, only for the ongoing costs of medical care. (Hence external support in addition to donations to the Poor Fund is key).
An ideal would be to run a self-sustaining hospital, and we remain committed to moving towards this financial ideal. As noted elsewhere, we have managed to achieve self funding for almost 80% of our day to day operating costs. But in reality we are unable to attain full self funding, given our foundational value of serving the poorest of the poor.