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How Vitas Jordan is Supporting Medical Centers through a New Digital Loan Product
Published 08/18/2023 by Global Communities
By Lizzie Hickman
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed weaknesses in the global medical supply chain. Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and medications made it challenging for hospitals and clinics to treat patients and contain the virus. In Jordan, where public hospitals lacked beds and ventilators, the government ramped up domestic production of PPE and worked with outside suppliers to acquire ventilators to keep up with demand.
To solve supply chain challenges and provide a new way for medical providers to acquire supplies and equipment, three biomedical engineers launched an innovative eCommerce service in Jordan called Medical Hub.
“It wasn’t easy to order all the medical supplies from different vendors,” said Yousef Al-Shobaki, owner of Jwan Medical Center. “Using Medical Hub as an aggregator and one window to order all needed supplies made getting the products we needed easier.”
Despite Medical Hub’s ability to simplify the procurement process, medical centers — like Jwan — still struggled to obtain the necessary cash flow to make medical supply purchases. To address this challenge, Vitas Jordan — a for-profit subsidiary of Global Communities — created a new, innovative loan product that supports medical facilities with funding their orders.
“Vitas Jordan was keen to implement new innovative services like this, because it promotes the adoption of emerging technology and solutions through providing financial services to medical providers,” said Osama Barakat, head of the Commercial Unit at Vitas Jordan.
To test new loan products that use technology, connect clients to products or services that meet their needs and solve business pain points, Vitas Jordan launched a mini-innovation lab. The mini-lab’s first prototype was the Revolving Line – Invoice Financing Loan, which was introduced in 2021. This product is currently one of the few that enables healthcare providers and clinics to finance medical supplies.
The Revolving Line – Invoice Financing Loan is very flexible and free of hassle which saves our medical center time.”Yousef Al-Shobaki, Owner, Jwan Medical Center
“It is delightful to see Vitas Jordan adopting this culture of innovation and including the model of ‘financing through platforms’ into its business plan,” said Rola El Amine, Vitas Digital Business Innovation Manager. “It has been a challenging journey to look out for the right platform/partner in Jordan, but the team’s determination succeeded to create financing impact in the healthcare sector through its partnership with Medical Hub.”
The Revolving Line – Invoice Financing Loan allows Vitas Jordan clients to purchase medical products from Medical Hub as needed rather than having to wait for funding to become available. Onboarded Vitas Jordan clients can draw from the loan and pay it back multiple times without requesting a new financing agreement as long as purchases fall below the loan ceiling limit.
Medical centers can select needed supplies like bandages, syringes, needles, oxygen masks and other medical equipment for their clinics and hospitals through Medical Hub’s website. At checkout, clients can then request payment be completed through a Vitas Jordan loan. From there, Medical Hub sends the financing request via email to Vitas Jordan, where the team reviews the order and approves the plan. Once the purchase is completed, Vitas clients log into Tijarah, a business-to-business digital supply chain financing platform, to initiate the withdrawal request. Tijarah is also the place where clients and Vitas Jordan connect to confirm ordered goods have been received and invoices to Medical Hub are paid.
To test the viability of the Revolving Line – Invoice Financing Loan, Vitas Jordan launched a pilot loan with the Jwan Medical Center, which treats roughly 1,000 patients per month and has been a partner of Vitas Jordan for the past three years. The center was granted an initial loan of 30,000 Jordanian Dinar ($42,325.05) and the first invoice was for a withdrawal of 500 JD, which the center paid back in January 2023.
“The Revolving Line – Invoice Financing Loan is very flexible and free of hassle which saves our medical center time,” Al-Shobaki said. “This loan helped improve our efficiency.”
Through the pilot loan to Jwan Medical Center, the Vitas Jordan team learned about the importance of understanding a client’s needs, being flexible and closing the loan cycle quickly. These takeaways will be implemented as the Revolving Line – Invoice Financing Loan moves into the next developmental phase.