Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Advertising by IVF clinics

Nova IVI is a corporate chain of IVF clinics all over India which recently took out a full page ad in The Times of India , advertising their IVF services. Lots of IVF doctors in private practise find this very unfair .  As individual doctors , even though we provide a commercial service and compete with these chains, we're not allowed to advertise because of Medical Council of India restrictions. Corporate chains can advertise as much as they like, which means this becomes an unlevel playing field, and the odds are stacked in their favour .  They are worried that they will lose their patients to these chains, and feel threatened.

My take is very different.

I feel that these ads create a lot of awareness amongst infertile patients. Instead of wasting their time and money on ineffective infertility treatment options provided by gynecologists who are not infertility specialists , these patients understand that IVF offers them their best chance of having a baby. This is why they are much more likely to seek out IVF clinics.

When they look for one, perhaps they will go to Nova IVI first , because they ran the ad.  However , most patients these days are smart. They will also look for alternatives , and get a second opinion. This means there is a trickle down effect , and all IVF clinics will benefit in the bargain, because a rising tide helps all ships.

Also, when they do their first IVF and it fails, they're going to look for a better clinic for their second attempt, because they have become more sophisticated.  Instead of taking away our patients, these ads result in our patient base growing even more , because we are a boutique IVF clinic which specialises in providing personalised, customised high tech care with high touch !

Also, patients understand that when clinics take out such expensive ads , someone needs to pay for them - and this is a cost which is ultimately borne by the patient. It's an indirect cost and it's hidden, but marketing is expensive and, finally it's the patient who foots the bill for all ads. Sophisticated patients understand this , and will always look for better options.

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