Dr. Gamal Albinsaid recognized that many people in his country had severe health problems with no insurance, and no money to pay for medicine or medical care. He also noticed that many rural villages nearby were filled with garbage.
Thinking on how to solve both problems, Gamal eventually decided that he would provide free health care to people who turned in their garbage.
“You have people who can’t go to the hospital because they don’t have money. So I started thinking, if you don’t have money, what do you have?” Gamal said.
“There’s garbage everywhere on the ground. So we decided to use garbage as a financial resource,” he continued.
He then created a company called Garbage Clinical Insurance which collects the trash that is given to him by his patients and then sells it to recycling companies. The money earned from the recycled garbage is then used to pay for medicine and health care for the people who turned in the trash.
So far, this program has helped thousands of people get access to healthcare that they would not have had otherwise. In 2013, Gamal won a €50,000 prize at the Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Awards.
“They think they don’t pay anything for the insurance—they just give garbage. So it persuades the community. And we’re encouraging poor people to pay with their own resources. Some people want to use this idea for education. So people can modify the system to solve different problems,” Gamal said.
--From Collectively Conscious