The impact of coronavirus in the UK, specifically in private healthcare, resulted in a drop of 84%. At the start of the year, there was a 3% rise in the numbers of private healthcare which increased to 4% the following month. However, when the pandemic hit the country, there was a sharp drop in March with an 84% decline from April of last year to April of this year.
Additionally, there was a shift in the kinds of treatments being requested in the private health sector. According to reports, about 63% of private admissions required medical oncology services making it the largest specialty service being conducted.
Private Healthcare Aligns Resources to NHS
These details came from the gathered dataset by PHIN with regards to private healthcare in the country. The data further showed how the private healthcare UK changed after the country closed in response to the ongoing pandemic, as well as how the Private Patient Units of NHS as well as private hospitals combined their resources in support of the National Healthcare System.
According to the Chief Medical Officer of PHIN, Dr. Jon Fistein, although the data that they are receiving is still not complete, the impact of coronavirus to the healthcare system in the UK, particularly those that are funded by private institutions, is taking form. Since hospitals, both public and private, have aligned their resources in aid of Covid-19 response, it is quite reassuring to know that immediate care, like requests for medical oncology, is still ongoing.
How Healthcare Marketing is Affected by the Pandemic
Since healthcare specialists are on the line in the fight against the ongoing pandemic, operators of private healthcare will look to adding more safety precautions for their staff and their patients. Understanding how these companies can mitigate the negative effects of the viral infection not just in the day-to-day operations of privately-owned hospitals, but in marketing as well, can help lessen the impact of the ongoing pandemic.
With regards to healthcare marketing, there is minimal impact to be seen in what people search for during the start of the pandemic. However, it is not easy to determine how these searches will change as the weeks pass by, but if it will be based on what Italians have been researching on, many are looking for additional information about private healthcare.
Changing Marketing Strategies
For the private healthcare sector, providing reliable information to potential clients is essential. Experts recommend marketing strategies to remain organic as much as possible to remain accessible to patients in need of medical assistance. The effort put into maintaining the website will show results within weeks or months as the economy in the country starts to repair itself.
If operators of private healthcare follow the path of searches in Italy, it is predicted that there will be a 50% drop in searches in the next few weeks. This should not be a problem, as money saved can be used to rebrand or reconsider new marketing techniques that will target more patients.
For private healthcare hospitals working on a new marketing strategy, it is better to update what message is being delivered to potential clients by offering them the option of doing their consults through online or make an appointment in advance. Consulting doctors through video calls is one way to prevent a patient from being at risk of exposure to the virus. There are plenty of video conferencing platforms available that can be utilized by the clinic or hospital when doing video consults with ongoing or incoming patients. In the event that the current pandemic worsens, cutting back on certain areas of your marketing strategies, like Ads from Google and other social media sites, may help prevent loss of money for the meantime.
Are There Opportunities for Marketing in the Private Healthcare Sector?
This depends mostly on whether other competitors will stop their marketing in the meantime as this will open new opportunities for owners of private healthcare facilities to take on the lead. Since many industries are shifting towards providing resources to battle the coronavirus, such as those in the cosmetics industry, it is highly likely that they will be offering services that are in line with more hospital services to assist the NHS.
If there are downturns to the number of treatments being taken up by patients, this lull in the company can be used to get some order in the company. This can be a good time to start building new pages for the website that will deliver relevant information based on the current health climate in the country. This is also the best time to analyze what other companies are doing so that you will be able to offer more substantial services that are needed at this time of the pandemic.
Hard Decisions Will Be Made
Tough decisions will have to be made by those who are operating private health facilities especially now when the country is facing a pandemic caused by the coronavirus. Operators have to consider reducing the number of people currently employed, cutting costs in various departments, or even having to let go of certain marketing strategies too. These days, many healthcare facilities cannot state that they are operating as usual as the impact of the coronavirus can be seen and felt with the decline in the numbers of incoming patients. This is one of the reasons why operators have to come up with new strategies to be able to provide services to their clients.
Although having a backup plan with regards to emergency situations such as the ongoing pandemic, it is still hard to predict what the future will bring. Right now, things haven’t fallen into place as there are too many variables to ignore with regards to the coronavirus. However, this doesn’t mean that there is nothing operators of private hospitals and clinics can do. By taking immediate steps, particularly with regards to the safety of their staff and clients, mitigating the effects of the pandemic can be done. Data is still being collated and studied, but for now, healthcare operated by private companies are feeling the effects of the coronavirus.