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The Biggest Crisis In Our Healthcare System
05 June 2013
This year in Australia alone another thousand or more qualified practitioners in alternative health care modalities will be released from their studies into the business world to practice. I say business world because even though much of their study and training is focussed on treatments, as a practitioner many professionals find themselves running their own small business even though what they are actually creating is a job for themselves. These include superbly qualified Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Naturopaths, Massage Therapists and Acupuncturists amongst many other treatment forms. You may be curious to know why this is a crisis.
We read so often in the newspapers and see in the media that we have epidemics in obesity, lifestyle diseases, cardiovascular problems, type II diabetes and cancer. One statistic I read last week was that in our lifetime we can expect that ⅓ of westerners will contract a type of cancer. What I am finding so insightful is research into epigenetics, and in particular a study conducted over 26 years in the US that showed at a cellular level that genetic expression can be influenced by nutrition, stress and lifestyle. There is still a crisis, and this is one and not the one I am referring to today.
As I work with a number of practitioners in the healthcare industry, many of them highly qualified and offering exceptional care, it frightens me that the average number of patients a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist sees in clinic is about 35 per week. Doing the math on this assuming a fee of say $50 per client, the costs of business operations, rent, taxes and then a home and lifestyle costs makes it an incredibly tight. There is still a crisis, and this is one and not the one I am referring to today.
It’s alternative therapies and modalities like Chiropractic, Naturopathy, Acupuncture and Physiotherapy that assist people from the point of view of prevention. Reducing stress levels, providing care in times of health to maintain health and providing care in times where health may be reduced and not to the point of devastation and hospital visits. It concerns me that if as I hear so often it’s too expensive for a practitioner to be in business to the extent that many look for a second job, or work part time hours. This impacts accessibility to services that can assist the community to reduce stress levels, prevent disease and have a healthier life.
So where is the crisis? In my thinking it is in the question of personal services, trading time for income and running a business with multiple income streams. Research shows that about 70% of vitamin taking in Australia alone is self-prescribed. You only need to see the line up of Fish Oil in the supermarket to guess that shoppers are not taking their Naturopath down the aisle and having them recommend the blend that will best serve their health. How do we even know we the individual need Fish Oil in the first place? Practitioners who diversify income sources, have income from non-service based goods and services create a business that can support them in holiday time and raise their income to levels that sustain full time practice. Resolving the mindset is not about asking patients to make purchasing decisions they are not already making. There are benefits in redirecting spending from the self-prescribed aisle in a supermarket to a practitioner who has a thorough case history and can make suggestions based on this criteria. We know the spending is happening so the plan is to redirect it.
The goal in healthcare is to ensure that as many healthcare professionals as possible can maintain a successful and profitable practice so they can work full time in their profession and provide the best platform to lead people to health before crisis. It takes a business approach and diversification.
Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader & entrepreneur
Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who choose to lead. Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing and healthcare. She takes a leading role in helping people transition from employment or trading time for income to their own business in the health, beauty and anti-aging sectors. Madelaine works with business models including a 10 x 10 process and 10:6:4:1 ratio strategy for generating profit of $100K or more per annum in your own business. Why? Inspire people to lead in free enterprise & together we can create lifetimes of health and happiness.