Target Clients and Patients
The health industry comprises of the public, faith based and the private healthcare providers. The private providers sub-sector is made up of the private hospitals and private individual practitioners. The Centre is a private practice and will offer a range of services.Other services will be through referrals by other cardiologists, general practitioners and hospitals within and outside Kenya.
It has been estimated that about 10-15% of the world’s population has CVD. Established clinics like this one often discourage potential customers by overpricing their services. But honestly, only the rich can afford the services. The main reasons for overpricing include: the cost of equipment, few cardiologists, high commercialization of services and competition for services by patients because there are only less than ten heart clinics in Kenya. Thus, the target market has always been the high and middle income earners. The lower end of the market has not been addressed as it is assumed that most people within this bracket will not be able to afford the required fees. Yet current research evidence shows that this group constitutes the largest portion of people with CVD.
Characteristics and Scope:
There are about 220 cardiologists in Africa out of which 130 are in South Africa alone and only 12 in Kenya. Although local data is scarce, it is estimated that 20-25% of the entire population suffers from some heart disease. Kenya has a population of about 40 million people and therefore it can be estimated that 4-6 million of Kenyans have one type of heart ailment or the other. Most of these people are not aware that they have a problem and seek treatment when the problem is severe. If the WHO yardstick is followed, then Kenya alone ought to have over 400 cardiologists instead of the 12.
There are no physical or legal entry barriers into this market. However, the high educational qualifications required acts as a barrier as very few doctors are qualifying in this area particularly due to the high costs involved in the training and the long study period.
Customers in this health-sector market can be categorized as upper, middle and lower income segments. Due to poor public awareness potential customers especially in the lower income segments are ignorant of heart related ailments. Health professionals providing heart services usually target the upper and middle income segments of the population who can afford these services. The lower income population generally relies on support from philanthropic individuals and organizations. The Heart Centre service pricing will be all inclusive to support patients from all categories.