The Business Year

Dr. Yunus Assane

MOZAMBIQUE - Health & Education

Diagnostic Insight

Director, Clinicare


Yunus Assane received a degree in Medicine in 1985 from Eduardo Mondlane University, and specialized in Neurosurgery in 2002 at the University of Natal (South Africa) and Oporto University (Portugal). He acted as the Head of the Department of Surgery at both the Maputo Central Hospital and Mondlane from 2004 to 2007. He is also a Fellow of the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa. In 2006 he concluded his Diploma Course on Research Methodology by BDL (Denmark) and obtained his PhD degree from Pretoria University (South Africa) in 2012.

What prompted you to found Clinicare, given that your background is in the public sector? I am a Mozambican neurosurgeon. When I finished my studies I started to work in […]

What prompted you to found Clinicare, given that your background is in the public sector?

I am a Mozambican neurosurgeon. When I finished my studies I started to work in the public sector, where unfortunately, there are many difficulties. Imaging is very important in my field, yet 10 years ago, we didn’t have imaging machines, even in Maputo Central Hospital. It was at that time that I decided to enter the private sector. That is why in the beginning the idea was to establish an imaging center in Maputo, including digital x-rays, MRI, CT-scan, densitometry, mammography, and ultrasound. After that we realized that major investment was needed in this area. My partners and I discussed building clinics in other areas, too. We are a medium-size clinic with the most relevant specialties available: dentistry, laboratory, ICU, physiotherapy, and chemistry, among others. It was not possible to open a private hospital in Mozambique 15 years ago because this was exclusively a public sector domain. The government decided to allow for the opening of privately managed facilities after a few years. Clinics started to be established, but mainly for consultations rather than diagnostics (imaging) and surgery. Such clinics were not built from scratch in line with best practices and layouts for clinics—existing houses were often converted into small clinics. Very few of them featured the facilities we have now. Some elements are still missing, for example radiotherapy is not available in the country, and for these facilities one must go to South Africa.

One of the reasons for the lack of higher-level services has been a lack of base consumers with sufficient funds. How have you seen this change over time?

We know that ordinary people don’t have the possibility to use privately managed clinics and services. Most users now come through the many existing insurance companies that are used by private sector companies operating in Mozambique. Most companies have contracts with insurers, through which they access clinics. It is not a perfect situation, but it is one we can manage. Insurance companies tend to pay late and add an administrative burden to clinics, but there is little room for maneuverability as the market currently stands. Our average patient is a Mozambican working for a medium- to large-size company, although there are also expatriates working for the embassies and foreign companies based in Mozambique. Expatriates are a demanding type of client and their level of confidence in the use of private clinics is increasing. Our commitment to quality, security, staff professionalism, and availability is reaching expatriates and also Mozambicans who would usually travel to South Africa for treatment.

How do you think investment in gas and coal over the past decade has affected the healthcare sector?

Positively. All the economic improvements in the country will indirectly affect us. Expatriate patients are starting to use our services, and because they are more demanding they help us improve not just the services we provide, but also on the best way to deliver them to this new customer base. It is still early days to see the high-level impact of such investments, but I am confident that they will come. Also, one must take note that these major investments are not located in Maputo but in other less accessible and developed provinces such as Tete and Cabo Delgado.



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