BFK Global Deals > News > Health > Why India Hospitals and Medical Tourism Firms Don’t Succeed in Nigeria/Africa – The Question of Disrespect for Prospects’ Policies

Why India Hospitals and Medical Tourism Firms Don’t Succeed in Nigeria/Africa – The Question of Disrespect for Prospects’ Policies

  • Posted by: bfkglodeal

I have operated in the medical tourism support services in Nigeria and West Africa for the last ten years having run one of the biggest private medical facilities in Africa, located in Ibadan, Nigeria for about four years. This is following a rich career in the Healthcare/Pharma sector for 20 years. In the last fourteen years, I have developed impressive professional interaction profiles with a massive number of Doctors and Surgeons across Nigeria facilitated medical value travels for hundreds of needy patients, and supported their case doctors and relatives accordingly with great outcomes.

Over the last ten years, I have had quite a large number of requests from persons and firms from India claiming expertise in medical tourism and having the so-called ‘tie-ups’ with virtually all hospitals and medical institutions of repute in India. And that is all, they just want you to start sending patients! Ludicrous at best for an enduring and practicable business relationship! Despite Nigeria’s health sector is not as developed as those in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada, many healthcare facilitators like me are never persuaded to deal with the midway operators (middlemen) who have these tie-ups with virtually all hospitals of repute in India for several obvious reasons which only they fail to see!

First and foremost, the issue of trust that they will deliver on all their promises especially with regards to the safety and wellbeing of the patient given the stories of human organ harvesting crimes in India that have made the rounds in Nigeria and still do.

There is also the challenge of the lack of proof of the veracity of their claims. There is no viable means of verifying the authenticity of the unserious despite corporate logos and websites. This is a major setback for their success at cultivating serious-minded professional operators in Nigeria. And they do not feel a need to address this in the critical terms that it deserves.

The lack of enforceability of what is at best their promise though presented in the form of a so-called MoU is another blow to the feasibility of their ventures in Nigeria. Given that the claims of these agencies cannot be authenticated and worsened by the lack of trust, no one in their right mind can expect that they can legally enforce any breach that may develop in dealing with these medical tourism operators from India. Unless adequately addressed, intended success in their venture remains a mirage!

Again, the economic foolishness of having to share phantom income with someone or firm for whom you have no trust, when indeed wisdom dictates that you rather have direct tie up yourself with the Hospital concerned poses another serious and obvious deterrent.

As for the Hospitals themselves, they generally expect facilitators to, market, source, and refer the patients to them for commissions without any interest whatsoever in any pre-revenue investment in marketing. No way! It will never work to sustain any serious business in this region. The fact is, dealing with the hospitals directly has not fully removed the issue of trust because the surgeons and doctors would rather in addition to the Hospitals’ direct marketing efforts, prefer to have a qualified Nigerian on the staff of such Hospitals who can and will be available at all times to respond to the pertinent queries of the doctors and surgeons. Outside of an arrangement that assures the hospital has a stake here in Nigeria, the referral agents, and the doctors do not consider such institutions worthy of expecting them to refer their patients on the mere basis of commissions. They may as well earn by inclusive billing here in Nigeria without having to further commit their patients to the ‘India” risks.

I have tried to enlighten a few Hospitals whom I consider serious but only ignorant of ways and means when it comes to international marketing of their services but quite a number soon back down insisting on the lousy “refer and get commission” without a desire to commit to any pre-revenue investment. It will never work out for them. To win, destination hospitals need to investigate well and adopt suitable approaches fitting for different climes and cultures, especially aligning with prevailing domestic policies of their prospects rather than a blanket mediocre strategy that must fit all! They must be willing to commit to the level of marketing commensurate with their commercial expectations in their target countries or regions.

It has never made any business profit sense to disregard the operating policies of prospective healthcare institutions and practitioners and impose your approach with the expectation of a positive response.

Published by;

Babatunde Kolajo FCBA, CMC, FIMC, CHRMC, Director at Medic City Nigeria

This article is to support effective medical value travel often required as part of healthcare effectiveness for thousands of people across the globe.

Author: bfkglodeal

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