You may be a doctor, entrepreneur or a dreamer with your very own ambition of starting and running your own hospital. To bridge the gap between dream and reality you will need to ask yourself a few questions before embarking on the journey to establish your own hospital. Today we will try to answer the 10 most common questions asked by the entrepreneurs who dream of opening their hospitals in India.
- What are my expectations from the hospital?
- Why am I thinking about opening a hospital?
- What kind of a place will it be?
- What is the ideal place to set it up?
- Should we have our own ambulance service?
- How long will the paperwork take?
- How do I get the finances in shape?
- How do I go about planning the infrastructure?
- What kind of professional help will I need?
- When do I get the healthcare permit?
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Let us reveal the answers to these very critical questions.
- Many people establish hospitals on a non-profit basis where the revenues generated and the grants received are enough to keep the establishment afloat. These are mainly the goodwill establishments who have minimal outdoor charges and OT chargers. They cater to the lower economic strata of society. On the other hand there are scores of multi-specialty hospitals which are mushrooming all around the country. These promise the finest treatment for each and every patient. Close attention is paid to every detail, from in-patient meals to room fragrance. These establishments almost always charge through the roof as the money is required to maintain such a gala affair and pay the doctors, nurses and attendants on their payroll. If you are looking forward to owning this kind of an establishment you will definitely require huge funds, sponsors and if possible co-investors who share similar interests.
- Are you a person driven by altruistic instincts or do you love the smell of fresh money in the morning? This may sound very crass. But at the end of the day you will have to ask yourself this question if you want to be happy with your business. Altruism is a wonderful concept but it is an obsolete currency. This means, no matter how good willed you are and how charitable you want your hospital to be, you need to be able to lay down a financial plan which will help your business to break even very soon. If you want to keep the profit margin minimal then make sure that you have enough to get by till your business starts seeing profit. So if you are still thinking that you want to open a hospital for the nation and its people, we simply ask you to do a reality check before you plunge into your plan.
- A general hospital will definitely not have the same amenities as a specialty hospital. There are scores of hospitals dedicated to motherhood and natality, neurosciences, gastroenterology etc. All these hospitals have all the possible equipments ever thought of for those specialties. Whereas general hospitals are mainly places where people go to when their ailments are not as pressing. From malaria to dog bites, everything is treated at general hospitals since they have the basic set up for the most common pathologies. Also general hospitals are most common places for vaccination and awareness camps since they have the space and also the equipment to support these events. Opening multi-specialty hospitals requires a lot of capital and a strong doctor’s list to draw patients. The main funds are diverted towards getting the latest equipments including the latest scanning machines, radiation equipment (for cancer hospitals), incubation chambers (for OBGYN hospitals).
- When opening your own hospital, the location is always the deciding point of success. This means if you open a hospital away from main city the chances of getting the main rush of patients remain extremely scarce unless you manage to get the best doctors and surgeons from around the world. But let us be realistic. Getting the best doctors from the city is sometimes crippling for the hospital’s budget, so getting them from around the globe is a fool’s dream.
- In addition to the location, you must remember to arrange for comfortable transportation facilities. Ambulances should have basic first aid kits, oxygen cylinders, fixed suction apparatus, automated external defibrillator and nebulizer. Now many hospitals and ambulance companies skip the basic requirements, but if you want to save yourself some very costly lawsuits follow the codes for BLS and ALS to the very word.
- If you are looking for a quantifiable answer you will be disappointed. This is a Sisyphean task and honestly with so many different types of permits even the most experienced investment advisors and business advocates sometimes lose track of events. To start with you will definitely need a land title deed and the permission from the local community to start the construction procedure. If you are cleared on that, you will need an electricity and water permit. In the 21st century, disposal of hazardous waste is a prime concern for the environment protection agencies. Hence you will need a permit for the disposal of the same in addition to the sewerage and sanitation permits.
- We are going to be honest here. Getting financial aid for opening a healthcare center or a hospital is not difficult these days at all owing to the high rate of success of these establishments. You can directly approach banks with clarified plans and verified expenses to get easy, low interest loans.
- The actual difficult part is the department-wise planning. Laying out detailed charts about the different departments starting with equipment vendors, HR personnel, computer functions, engineering needs and of course medical consultants and nurses. You will have more work at hand if you want to open your own hospital pharmacy. Just making the lists is never enough. As the construction process continues you need to interview at least a thousand applicants and employ head hunters to best consultant physicians for your new hospital. Taking professional help is especially recommended if you find yourself inundated with too many responsibilities.
- It is impossible to get all permits, oversee the construction and plan the infrastructure all by yourself unless you are Superman. So to make the process glitch-free you will need the advice of architects, hospital design consultants, water and sanitation consultations, fire prevention consultants, electricity consultants and structural engineers. Make sure you seek their advice before you go for getting your permits. A little nudge and smart suggestion from these professionals can save you a lot of headache, hassle and money.
- Getting the healthcare certification is not the hardest part of the process but it is definitely one of the last. Local authorities usually refrain from giving a healthcare certification unless all the equipments are in place, the beds are fitted and a part of the hospital staff is appointed. Like all good things in life, this requires a nominal fee and involves a few days of patient waiting.