Nicole Spieker is Director Quality of PharmAccess Foundation, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. PharmAccess is a Dutch not-for-profit organization dedicated to the strengthening of health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Working with local public and private partners, PharmAccess’ mission is to create access to affordable, quality healthcare for low income groups. This is achieved through the introduction of standards, the creation of health insurance systems, the provision of affordable loans to private clinics, medical and administrative capacity building, HIV/AIDS and healthcare workplace programs, and learning and analysis through operational research. She launched the SafeCare Initiative, started in 2010 by the PharmAccess (Netherlands), the Joint Commission International (JCI, U.S.A) and COHSASA (South Africa). The SafeCare approach is based on internationally acknowledged (ISqua) quality standards and dissects the improvement process of healthcare providers in survey-able, measurable steps. The program is operational in four countries in over 2000 facilities with public and private sector partners amongst which the NHIF in Kenya and the MoH&SW in Tanzania.
Currently she is leading the digital innovation agenda of PharmAccess in Kenya. At the core is the M-TIBA mobile health wallet, developed by PharmAccess, CarePay and Safaricom, which allows users to send, save and receive dedicated funds to access healthcare services using their mobile phones. It is a closed loop where these conditional funds can only be used for healthcare costs at selected providers. This is a first step in creating new digital solidarity mechanisms where people start paying for each other. The rich for the poor, the sick for the healthy, communities for an individual. M-TIBA will accelerate a transformation in the healthcare market in sub-Saharan Africa. The national roll-out of M-TIBA in Kenya is now underway, with almost one million people already registered and 440 healthcare providers signed up in Nairobi and Central.
Prior to this, Dr. Spieker was Director of clinical support services at the Aga Khan Health Services, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.