Medical Experts Urge Practitioners to Separate Practice From Healthcare Business


Ayodeji Ake

Medical experts have urged medical practitioners across the country to separate professional practice from healthcare business, as well as, gather their expertise and resources together in partnerships that would lift them from the limitations of sole proprietorship; the prevalent business model, which overtime has not ensured business sustainability.

Speaking at the first edition in 2018 of the Bi-annual Doctors’ Forum and launch of HPV OncoTect and Neobona, held recently in Lagos, a renowned gynecologist and Executive Vice Chairman, The Bridge Clinic, Dr. Richardson Ajayi, called on medical practitioners to step up efforts at separating their practice from business, by acquiring business management skills or engaging professionals to manage healthcare.

He disclosed that such efforts should be complemented with the right partnerships, in order to attract more investments needed for improvement in medical infrastructure, research, training, and ultimately, an efficient healthcare delivery.

Explaining the imperative of adopting business-oriented healthcare models in his topic tagged, ‘Is Healthcare a Business?’ at the forum organised by Pathcare, a member of SYNLAB, and sponsored by The Bridge Clinic, Ajayi, decried that sole proprietorship is the predominant healthcare business model adopted by over 70 per cent of private hospitals in Nigeria.

Ajayi further explained that in the model, the medical doctor is the centre of the healthcare ecosystem. “He manages the operations of the hospital, provides care to sick patients, and fund the healthcare practice. This places significant pressure and responsibility on one person and often the medical doctor becomes a single point of failure. Seldom do sole proprietorship medical practices exist beyond the 30 years mark in Nigeria.”

He stated that private medical practice in Nigeria has floundered under the sole proprietorship model, resulting in the abysmal delivery of care and capital flight through outbound medical tourism, which the Federal Ministry of Health said stood at N1.5 billion spent annually by Nigerians seeking medical care abroad.

One of the highlights of the event was the launch of HPV OncoTect, and Neobona from the stable of SYNLAB, by Prof. Em. Raymond Auckenthaler, Chairman SYNLAB Forum for Innovation. Auckenthaler stated that cervical cancer is the 4th most common tumor in women worldwide and HPV is the principal causative agent of cervical cancer.