João Paulo Nogueira Ribeiro

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2014
Horas da Vida


This profile was prepared when João Paulo Nogueira Ribeiro was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
The Brazilian public health system is known for its inefficiency, due to the high demand for health care and lack of public infrastructure to meet it. In São Paulo alone, the waiting list for public healthcare in 2014 has approximately 600,000 people. Meanwhile the private system is not even an option for most Brazilians because the cost is so high. João Paulo Ribeiro, a gerontologist who has always been concerned with treating low-income individuals, noticed this demand for healthcare and realized that many private doctors would be willing to donate their time to assist those needing care if presented with the appropriate tool. Thus, João Paulo created Horas da Vida (Hours of Life), a simple solution that matches doctors and low income patients – to groups otherwise unlikely to meet -- to fulfill the unmet need for healthcare access and provide an outlet to serve low income populations.
The Hours of Life Institute is an online platform that connects qualified private practitioners with low-income individuals in need of free health care. Structured in its partnerships, Hours of Life engages actors across various sectors to transform access to health. On the service provider side, João has built a network of doctors that are willing to donate hours, tapping into their intrinsic desire to make a change in society. His partnerships also involve other services, such as laboratory exams and free eyeglasses and João is in the process of establishing a partnership with the public system to attend to the more complex cases.
On the patient side, João is partnering with credible civil society organizations whose beneficiaries require health care, ensuring that the patient really needs treatment by enabling social and medical screening. Through his low cost and easily scalable platform, João plans to expand his initiative to all 400,000 doctors in Brazil, and its millions of low-income residents who could not otherwise access their services.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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