HOW TO START A HOSPITAL IN NIGERIA CHECKLIST AND BUSINESS PLAN
Establishing a hospital is lucrative and above all a service to humanity. The market space is so vast because the Nigerian land mass is enormous with a population over 180 million and every human being needs health care services. Yes the government have provided lots of health care facilities such as primary health centres, secondary hospitals and tertiary hospitals but the Nigerian populace needs more health facilities. There are equally a lot of mission hospitals and privately owned hospitals yet people need quality services and its never enough here in Nigeria because medicine has vast specialities such as gynaecology, neuro science, paediatrics, family medicine, ENT, urology, psychiatric, orthopaedic, cardiac to mention but a few.
Most hospitals in the rural areas have no medical personnel manning them thereby leaving rural dwellers to less access to hospitals. Having said a few things about Nigeria and healthcare facilities you can see that setting up a hospital is a very attractive venture.
We will not rush into encouraging people to start opening hospitals or health clinics without mentioning that lots of regulations and requirements are also involved in establishing a hospital because we are actually talking of handling human lives.
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT ESTABLISHING A HOSPITAL IN NIGERIA
- The hospital must have a medical practitioner
- The doctor must be registered in Nigeria and fulfill all requirements to practice as a medical doctor in Nigeria especially the practising licence.
- The hospital must be registered with CAC and the ministry of health
- The ministry of health has a list of requirement for the establishment of a hospital and these requirements includes having a good environment and space, your nurses should have the qualification to work in Nigerian health setting, you should have an incinerator and a proper waste disposal system, neatness should be ensured.
- If the hospital is dealing on medications and operates a pharmacy then a qualified pharmacist should be employed to ensure PCN regulations are met also.
- A hospital is allowed to have a bed side laboratory to carry out medical diagnosis but should also laboratory scientist to supervise what their lab is doing.
WHO ARE YOUR PRIMARY TARGETS
- I know a lot of hospital owners complaining over income generation because they don’t have a precise target of clients. Actually there are classic hospitals so poshed and you will not expect a common Nigerian to foot their bills ordinarily. You must have a set of people in mind, extremely rich, rich, middle class and low class clients. In as much as you are saving lives, you also take note that your business needs profits and return of investments to run the organisation successfully. You cant have a hospital running on a 60KVA generator sucking a d galloping diesel 24/7 and expect low income class clients to foot your bills. There are hospitals that require special equipment and specialists that are expensive to afford such as cardiologist, nephrologist etc and machines such as CT scan, MRI scanners, Digital X ray machines, High definition and highly digitalized ultrasound machines, and a lot more machines that are expensive and have high cost of maintenance. The truth remains that as we have 1 star to 5 star hotels, so are hospitals graded too. Yes the country is supposed to have a health insurance coverage for everyone to ease the stress of health care affordability in the country, also our government tertiary hospitals should be heavily equipped with lots of specialist working there to help make healthcare affordable to the common man in Nigeria but unfortunately most government run tertiary hospitals lack both experienced specialists such as nephrologist, cardiologists, oncologists etc talk less of how well equipped they are. These lapses found in state owned hospital gives great opportunity for hospital establishment to be encouraged in Nigeria. In summary depending on your primary target you should know your financial capacity, location, land mass and resources needed to run your hospital
- Apart from the type of clients you are looking forward to, we also have different specialization areas in Medicine , it is obvious that if the hospital clinical administrator is a gynaecologist then many of your patients would be women and pregnant women too, if you are an oncologist then your patients would be patients with cancer and tumour issues. If you are an ENT doctor your patients will be patients with ear, throat and nose issues. The point am making in this paragraph is that you should have a target client base.
HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO OPEN A HOSPITAL
- I can’t be specific on this because a hospital setting can consume thousands of naira and equally billions of naira considering what kind of hospital you have in mind to establish.
- The location of your hospital will actually determine your cost too, hospital in port Harcourt, Abuja, Lagos will cost more to establish than a hospital in Abakaliki, Okigwe, Afikpo, Onitsha where rents and landed properties are quite cheaper to the aforementioned cities.
- To health reduce cost of establishment you can partner with other investors to establish a good hospital to ease the burden of capital cost and even sustain quality staff strength .
BASIC THINGS YOU NEED TO OPERATE A HOSPITAL
- Water supply
- Hospital beds
- Good source of electricity
- Quality staff
- Equipment will basically depend on your area of specialty and financial capacity
- Good environment which must be ventilated, fumigated, spacious
- There must be a plan for waste disposal because hospital wastes are highly hazardous
- You might need an ambulance
- Vital signs tools such as glucometer, weighing scale, clinical thermometer.
THINGS YOU CAN ATTACH TO YOUR HOSPITAL TO MAKE IT MORE LUCRATIVE AND COMFORT FOR YOUR PATIENTS
- Medical laboratory
- Ambulance services
- Physiotherapy services
- Ultrasound services, X-ray and other medical examination services
SOME TIPS TO MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL IN RUNNING A HOSPITAL
- Employ some senior doctors to oversee the operations of the hospital but also employ freshers and resident doctors who will mainly do the job
- Employ well trained nurses but also employ nurse assistants because registered nurses are not easy to be paid
- Have a well-trained laboratory attendant and a supervisor
- Employ cleaners and device a means of waste disposal which must follow health regulations
- You can employ a part time driver to run the ambulance services because the ambulance might be static at times
- If you have a mortuary get a good mortician to train a few staff who can handle your mortuary while the mortician will visit periodically to oversee their job
Hospital establishment needs a lot of planning and strategies , it involves human lives and therefore a lot of regulatory bodies are involved in checking your modus operandi therefore you need to be up and doing to maintain all the necessary requirements needed to keep a hospital running. Like we pointed out before the capital needed to establish a hospital depends on the capacity of hospital you want to establish, some hospitals are just clinics and they don’t admit in-patients, some hospitals just require an apartment while others require very large spaces. Please do a background check and see what hospital will sell in your locality to enable you plan how to establish a successful hospital.
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