How do you sell health to a population?
This is the question that is the main agenda for policy makers in government, private hospitals and of course pharmaceutical companies
We live in a very commercialised and time-sensitive society to where we want everything super-quick, has to be best.....but we don't want to pay much......or anything!
To be able to get th right patient demand.....or user experience, let us try to define healthcare as a commodity
Is Health a product by itself? Do peopl walk into a clinic and just ask for X-rays, blood tests an others as they like?
Is Health a service, meaning do we consume health the same way we experience opera theatre, legal counsel, education and so on? If so is it enough to say the more you pay a doctor or a hospital the more likely you will reach top level health regardless of condition?
These two scenarios occur simultaneously here in Dhaka and in many countries as we follow a highly privatised mode known as out of pocket health purchase
This means hospitals sell health by the hour and also by the action:
You pay consultation hourly rates
Then booking fees for diagnostic or intervention facilities
Then you pay for the medication continuously
So in a way private healthcare is the perfect business......everybody requires health to live, many are willing to pay large percentage of savings for access, pay grades and price ranges are mostly arbitrary....and of course the lifestyle diseases that we have (diabetes cancer hypertension) means we become repeat customers one way or another......
So these things are almost logical and also unfair......so you may ask what's my point?
As a physician entrepreneur......I want to look at health and healthcare as a outcome or personal experience of both product and service
How can it be?
Let's imagine you go to a nice restaurant for a family meal
It's a nice place
Chef and waiters are highly trained
Owner is active and respected in the community
They male meals you know are tasty, professionally cooked and designed as per your wish
Your kids are happy to be outside the house
Your spouse is dressed in their best outfit
Everyone is together after a busy week
You talk, you eat, you pay, you leave
You reach home satisfied.....not because you have consumed the dietary requirements for vitamins, protein and so on......you can fill your belly for much cheaper food from the street
The origin of your satisfaction is the personal and family-centred user experience of getting what you wanted, by professionals, in a safe lean environment at a price yo can afford.........
So.....what do you think
People don't leave hospital happy because they can count how many bones in their hands, how many litres of saline they took in their veins or the ability to et the serial for a famous doctor........
patient satisfaction is the sum total of their own unique repeatable and consistent quality of attention to their health issues
So I ask again......what are hospitals trying to sell?......or should?
The best business model isn't something so fancy......its just like McDonalds or Uber......give the patient/user the type of experience that will make them from one time Conner to repeat customer based on the quality care and attention.....don't obsess about quota for X-rays or blood test.....or prescriptions
You will get repeat customers if your patient circle can appreciate the value you and your centre is trying to provide
I know this topic is very complex.....actually you need to imagine the concept as a mixture of marketing and psychology
This type of healthcare planning should also apply to private practice doctors like yourself......you are the brand......your patients don't care how many degrees you have on the wall, you think they care which university in london, Sweden or wherever you did your training?
Patients are mentally trying to justify your oats to the value that you should be providing.....that's how you get repeat customers.....and of course word-of-mouth referrals
This post was made possible with the assistance of
-A healthcare platform that connects you to a nearby doctor in only 3 clicks!
Thank you for you time and I wish you good health
Dr. Ismail Sayeed
MBBS MMed MSc
Founder & CEO