With the Rappi app, you can get a pizza – or a doctor – delivered directly to your door

On the Rappi platform, it is possible to order at-home healthcare services. — AFP Relaxnews

Home food delivery platform Rappi has tapped into a new market in Mexico City. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the Colombian company has partnered with healthcare providers to roll out the home delivery of health services and doctors.

On the Rappi home delivery platform, you can order local food, beauty products and even medicine. Now, you can also make an appointment for medical services at home. To provide this service, the Colombian company, which launched in 2015, partners with laboratories and clinics in Mexico.

These health care providers employ nurses who travel all around Mexico City, taking blood samples, testing for Covid-19 or vaccinating the population. And it works in just the same way you might order a pizza.

Delivering doctors

Rappi's ambition to shake up the medical sector dates back to 2019, before the pandemic. "We want to become the go-to option for digital healthcare in Latin America," Juan Sebastian Ruales, Rappi's commercial director, explained to Bloomberg in 2019. "We deliver hamburgers, we deliver nail polish, now we’ll be able to deliver doctors."

The pandemic simply served to speed up its rollout. In the Mexican capital, users can make an appointment with a general practitioner two hours beforehand, according to Latina Republic. The doctor will then come to their home.

Today, Rappi works with nearly half a dozen health care providers in Mexico City, according to Rest of the World. Viviana López, a nurse employed by Previta, a company that specialises in disease prevention, told the media outlet that “for medical workers like us, it's very fulfilling to be closer to the patients in times like these”.

López, like others, weaves her way through Mexico City's traffic on her scooter to get to her appointments. It's a new way of working that allows her to take up and finish her shift on time. Back at the lab, she drops off the samples to be analysed, then the results are sent directly to the patients by email or WhatsApp, without going through the platform, notes Rest of the World.

Specific working conditions

In this new formula for providing at-home health care, nurses do not have the status of on-demand workers often associated with these kinds of last-mile delivery applications, and something for which they are often criticised.

Here, workers are mostly employed by the platform's partners, as Lopez's boss, Morgan Guerra, CEO and co-founder of Previta, points out, Mexican laws relating to health and labour are not as flexible as for the delivery of consumer products. – AFP Relaxnews

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