A survey of the business challenges of private hospitals in nairobi to the Hiv/aids pandemic
Maina, Maurice K
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The 20-year onslaught of HIV/AIDS has radically changed the economics of patient care, and its effects are still being felt throughout the health care system. The private hospitals are faced by many business challenges when dealing with HIVIAIDS patients now than before but still have the social responsibility of providing quality healthcare to all including HIVIAIDS patients. This report presents the findings of a survey of the business challenges of private hospitals in Nairobi, Kenya to the HIVIAIDS pandemic and how they have responded to it. The research was conducted among 55 private hospitals based in Nairobi, Kenya. The information sought in the study was collected using a structured questionnaire and personal interviews. The study revealed that HIVIAIDS pandemic posed many business challenges to private hospitals. Average percent bed occupancy by HIVI AIDS patients was 32.6%. There was a general upward trend in the total number of general patients attended to (33.5% increase) but this was not the case with HIV/AIDS patients. Of the respondents, 66.7% considered HIVIAIDS as a business opportunity of moderate to very high extent. However, 84.4% respondents considered HIVIAIDS as a business risk of moderate to very high extent. These findings indicate that HIVIAIDS is both a business opportunity and risk that co-exist together in a hospital. This was .. compounded by the finding that few HIV/AIDS patients (21.2%) fully paid their hospital bills. The study further examined the responses of the hospitals to these challenges. Most hospitals (73.3%) involved themselves in a kind of program related to HIV/AIDS, with HI evealed that a majority of hospitals did not stock the ARV'S (82.4%) and ajust a few did stock the drugs (17.6%). Very few hospitals 12.1% adopted advanced technology in radiology investigations for HIVIAIDS patients. On the other hand, when it came to adopting advanced technology for laboratory investigations for specific HIVIAIDS related cases, majority of the hospitals 56.3% had adopted it, and a few (43.7%) did not. This study demonstrates that HIVIAIDS has actually caused a change in the business environment of private hospitals and these hospitals have responded with various measures to fit in a precarious environment. The study recommends further research like the strategy behind the responses made by the hospitals and to what extent does strategy play in dealing with the hospitals' business in HIV/AIDS and how effective these strategies are. These studies would expound on the current understanding of strategic issues in this poorly researched industry. The results of this study will assist managers of private hospitals in strategic management of hospitals in relation to HIV/AIDS.