Sept. 24, 2012
-- Marketing is a term a lot of people involved in health care would rather avoid and use the term health promotion. The main reason being when the term marketing is used it implies a direct benefit in terms of profit for the provider, with no quantifiable benefits to the patient. health promotion on the other hand tends to focus more on the benefits to the patient. Which ever term is used it is all marketing.
All Health Providers including Government Health Agencies, charitable health organisations and private health providers to an extend need marketing. The Government health Institutions and charitable organisations promote health. The marketing is targeting the the health of a population . Their marketing often takes the form of campaigns which appear in the press, the radio or is televised. The material often targets specific areas of health such as immunisations, cancer screening or anti-smoking campaigns. The marketing is mainly geared to promote health within a community.
Private health Providers must not lose site of health promotion which is one of the most important functions of health care providers. The private sector often concetrates on therapeutic interventions with very little and in some cases no health promotion. The services of the healthcare provider need to be known to the patient and the provider has to come up with a way to reach out to the patient. The patient, equally, needs to be able to find a service. This is where medical marketing becomes very important.
Medical marketing has to remain within the constraints of the law in the country in which the provider is practicing. In the first instance all providers need to satisfy the pre-requistes for practicing as a registered practitioner in their own country. Further they need to ensure they understand the restraints to medical marketing in that country. Most Countries allow some kind of notice outside the practice, with specific letter size and content restriction. Most countries also aloow directory listing and practice web sites. With advances on the internet the world wide web is becoming a very important and effective way of reaching out to patients.
Presence on the web is coming more and more important the best way is to link a web site to a web directory. in selecting a web directory it is important to take into account the inductries a directory covers. A directory dedicated to health would easily allow easy searching by patients . Another important criteria to take into consideration is whether the directory offers any advertising pages compared to just a directory listing.
Patients need to find their doctors in all the various specialties, their nearest doctors and hospitals and they also want to know what services doctors are offering, their opening hours and in many instances the costs of treatment. This all be found in one directory.