Friday, December 16, 2016

How does Malpani Clinic compare with corporate IVF clinic chains ?

Lots of companies have set up chains of IVF clinics in India , such as Nova IVI , Morpheus, Bourne Hall and Cloud 9. Patients often ask us how we compare with them , since we are a standalone clinic. Now, every model has certain advantages and disadvantages, and patients need to weigh the pros and cons before deciding what's right for them.

The big advantage of a corporate chain is that they're spread all over the country , which means patients don't need to travel that much to reach them. They can get treatment locally , which is obviously far more convenient.

However, corporate chains have disadvantages as well, because they are ultimately run as for-profit enterprises. Their bottom line is to increase their revenue. This is why they often end up over treating patients , because their priority often is no longer providing the best possible medical care for patients , but on increasing their cash flow - after all, the purpose of a for-profit company is to make profits. These companies have multiple stakeholders, and even though ideally the patient should be the primary beneficiary of a corporate healthcare service, often this is true only as a company slogan. The stakeholders to whom priority is given are usually the shareholders who have invested their money in the corporate chain , and want the best on return on their investment. This is why sometimes patient interests come second . The focus is on increasing through put and maximizing the number of IVF cycles done in order to ensure profitability. This is why they use an assembly line approach, and the quality of the care can be uneven and patchy, depending upon who the doctor is. Also, there is a major lack of continuity of care, because patients at these clinics rarely see the same doctor twice - who they get to see depends on whose on duty on that day.

By contract, we are a boutique IVF clinic which concentrates on providing customized, personalized care to challenging IVF patients - typically those who have taken treatment in other IVF clinics and have failed. It's  our own clinic , we don't have to worry about artificially increasing the number of cycles we do by doing unnecessary IVF treatments because we are financially well off. Our primary source of income is no longer the professional fees we earn from the medical care we provide to our patients - it comes from our stock market investments . This means we have the luxury of being able to provide just the right amount of care which patients need , and don't need to upsell them into doing IVF treatment. We don't have the financial  compulsions which corporate IVF clinic chains are burdened with.

Today, we practise medicine because of the personal joy and professional satisfaction it brings us - which is immense ! Each type of clinic has a role to play in the IVF ecosystem, and patients need to decide which is right for them.

All clinics need to play to their strengths , and we take pride in dealing with complex patients who have been given up by other IVF clinics . We can focus our energy and time on these challenging patients, and bring all our experience to bear on them to maximise their chances of having a baby. Corporate clinics are forced to take an assembly line approach, because they have to follow protocols, and the quality of their doctors is very uneven, because most of them don't stick around for  too long as corporate employees.

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