Relax. Considering this as a start-up may seem intimidating but you would be surprised how easy it is to set up a hospital in Nigeria. Don’t worry about your lack of credentials. You don’t have to have a medical background of any kind. Hospitals are founded on the backbone of astute entrepreneurs who understand that there will always be sick people – and they will pay anything to get better.
It doesn’t have to be as grand as John Hopkins and UCLH, or as big as LUTH. You could open a hospital in your back garden. All you need are the basics to start with: cotton wool, syringes and a few beds.
Use the attraction of a higher pay to lure overworked, frustrated doctors from government hospitals. If you can’t afford such a salary, employ third-rate medical school graduates who are struggling to get a job elsewhere.
Put ‘specialist hospital’ in the name to gain the public’s trust so they are more likely to subscribe to your services. Whatever you do has to be specialist. This would justify the extortionate costs. Of course no one would ever be sure what your specialty is and you really don’t need to have one. It just makes the hospital seem……special.
Much like schools, anything foreign is good. So, go the extra mile to find a white or Indian doctor from somewhere. Make sure they are always about so that patients can see them and feel their lives are in good hands. You know how difficult it is to trust Nigerian doctors these days.
Not all patients are equal. Some will bring in more cash than others. Ignore aged clients because they have lived their lives and are old enough to die. It is best to focus your energy on youthful patients who have a longer life of hospital visits and bills ahead of them.
There are never too many scans and tests. Think about the Domino’s Pizza strategy. You call in to order just a medium pepperoni supreme and you end up paying for a drink and a side to go with it. Likewise, by playing on fears, always look for opportunities to suggest more unnecessary tests and medication to patients. Make the offer irresistible and charge for each service, naturally.
Lastly, like all businesses: no money, no service. However, in emergency situations: no money, die.
Image | Outside a hospital ward |Source: Nigerian curiosity