The Shared Economy
Show me a hotel that uses your personal residential house to accommodate tourists you have never met and I’ll show you Airbnb. Show me a public transport company that uses the public’s very own cars to transport them and I’ll show you Uber, Taxify and Lyft.
An ever increasing feeling of the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated or seemingly un-relatable things is felt in our midst.
Genius entrepreneurs have accelerated and intensified this feeling by championing ideas that connect seemingly unrelated things.
In his edifying blog, billionaire Strive Masiyiwa called this business of connecting the unconnected, “The Shared Economy Business.” He said that the shared economy business model is not only how economies are going to thrive but is also the future of entrepreneurship.
After reflecting on Mr. Masiyiwa’s blog, I’m attempting to formulate a solution to a prevalent health care problem using the concept of “The Shared Economy”.
It is arguably not a priority for our governments to facilitate ambulances in our hospitals. Many ambulances are grounded in hospital compounds and the ones in good mechanical condition are not readily accessible by those who need them.
I suggest that, to improve the ambulance services in our hospitals, we should decentralize the mandate to operate ambulances and to repair them to one of these transportation companies.
So, governments can transform this service into an Uber-like service where one can easily call an ambulance and pay for it at a subsidized fee. Technical issues of how fast to connect to a nearby ambulance can be solved by programmers. Similarly, moral issues of who drives can be harmonized with the hospital management.
I can immediately sense resentment towards paying for an ambulance given our sense of entitlement after the taxes we pay.
But believe you me; free public services come at an expensive cost of ineffectiveness and inefficiency.
If you have never had difficulties in transporting a bedridden patient or a victim of an accident to hospital, you are permitted to laugh at the idea of having “Uber ambulances”.
Whereas the idea, just like all revolutionary ideas, stirs contemptuous thoughts, it is likely to remedies the current dysfunctional ambulance services in most African countries.
This is definitely an idea to be looked into deeply to find every nook and cranny of it. Share with us your suggestions in this regard.