'We pay visitation fees, but they’re not kickbacks'
As professionals, everyone has to market themselves. In this case, however, there are standards. Doctors cannot advertise, but institutions can.india Updated: Nov 22, 2011 01:52 IST
What is your strategy for marketing your doctors and hospital?
As professionals, everyone has to market themselves. In this case, however, there are standards. Doctors cannot advertise, but institutions can. In other hospitals, individuals do their own marketing. We market ourselves extensively in the public. We are on digital media like Facebook. We also give lectures about the brand and services. We hold awareness camps like blood donation camps, and bring awareness to a segment of the public — like about Thalassemia to Kuthchi jains. We visit housing societies, talk to them and create brand equity and awareness about the hospital.
Do you talk to general practitioners too?
We talk to the medical fraternity about our specialties. When a patient has a headache, he will go to the general practitioner. But when he has something more than a headache, he will be referred to a surgeon, for instance. The patient reaches the institution from a social channel. The general practitioner facilitates this. The GP can also call the hospital to see the facilities. We also hold conferences in and out of the hospital regularly, like for instance with the Dahanu medical association. We also distribute about 4,000 newsletters a month.
In your hospital, are the doctors responsible for getting patients?
In other hospitals, the individual doctor has to market himself. But in our hospital, it is done by the marketing team. The doctors are employed full-time so that they do justice to the clinical aspect of the job. There is no pressure of marketing on them.
Do you pay the doctors who refer patients to your hospital?
We pay visitation fee to the doctors. They are the ones who send the patients and will have to look after them after they are discharged from the hospital. Sometimes, when doctors do not get involved, they do not get the fees. For instance, if a patient is sent by the GP for cardiac surgery, he will look after the patient after the procedure is done. We do not have a kickback system.
Do you pay remuneration for sending patients for diagnostics?
No. We do not give remuneration for diagnostics such as CT scan and pathological tests.