How Uber Business Model can Solve Medical Brain Drain
In recent times, there have been a growing rate of emigration of medical practitioners from Nigeria to developed countries. Annually, it is estimated that 2000 doctors leave the country to practice in developed societies. US, UK and Canada are the popular countries of destination.
There are about 72,000 medical doctors registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) but only approximately 35,000 are currently practicing in the country.
Consequently, the ratio of doctor per population is approximately 1:6000 for a population of over 200 million in the country. This don’t tally with WHO recommendation of 1 doctor to 1000 population. Nigeria needs 165,000 doctors more to meet WHO standard.
This ratio would only keep getting wider as the population growth rate is 2.6% annually and 91% of junior doctors are already considering practising abroad.
The Nigerian Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists (NAHAP) has said there are about 17,600 registered pharmacists in the country, giving a ratio of 1 pharmacist to 12,000 Nigerians.
Also far more than World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of 1 pharmacist to 2,000 population.
Nurses, Medical laboratory scientist, Radiographers and other health professionals are not left out of this mass exodus from the country.
The major reasons for this problem are:
- Poor Remuneration: The average monthly salary of a doctor in Nigeria in both the public and private sector is #200,000 naira which is about $560 as against $2500 that is obtainable practicing in the US or UK. This has led to consistent strike actions that usually ends up unproductive.
- Poor Working Conditions: There is shortage and in some cases lack of medical facilities to aid a proper practice. Sadly, the burden of the number of patients can be overwhelming as well.
- Insufficient health institutions to employ medical practitioners that has left many jobless.
- Poor opportunity to grow in their career: The current atmosphere, does not encourage growth of medical practitioners in their career. Most times medical practitioners have to foot the bill of furthering their studies to increase their knowledge.
In this article, we are going to look at how the business model adopted by Uber- which is called the on-demand economy or gig economy or platform economy can be used to solve most of these problems.
But first let us look at the history of business transactions as it relates to the seller and the buyer.
The Business Model
The bedrock of any business transaction is the meeting point of the seller/ service provider and client/customer.
The meeting point provides an atmosphere of trust and assurance for both parties for the transaction to take place. The seller wants to feel assured that the buyer can pay for his service and the buyer wants to be sure of the quality of service rendered or goods to be purchased. Neither of them wants to be cheated.
ndependent contractors or freelancing was the main practice in the earliest times of business transaction. Then community base settlement was more popular.
A service provider would be well known in the community to render a particular service. Since the population was small, trust was not much of an issue.
As a service provider, if you render a poor service to a customer, feedback travels quickly among members of the community regarding your poor service and it can lead to a decline in business. This makes service providers work hard to give their best to customers.
As the communities started growing bigger into cities and even metropolis, and technological advancement now pushes the world into a big community, this model of business transaction no longer seemed sufficient.
Sellers had to put more measures to gain buyers trust so they can also widen their customer base to far reaching places of the cities or even country at large.
This led to the rise of the corporation or organization which became the backbone of the industrial economy.
In the industrial economy, the meeting point for service provider or sellers and the customer, is called an organization or company where the transaction is carried out.
In the organization model, service providers of like and complimentary skills are brought together to form a legal entity called the corporation or organization.
The organization is what customers would now have to interface with when carrying out a business transaction. Since these organizations have to register with the country of residence to render service, trust is built in the heart of the customers. In this way, customer dissatisfaction in the organization can lead to poor brand name for the organization.
The downside of this model, is that quality and cost of service is dictated by the organization and the service providers are usually placed on a fixed wage which most times is small compared to their work input.
At times they work outside their work description. There is also a fixed time frame for work, which renders the working condition is not flexible.
Advancement in technology is gradually changing the way business transactions take place. Two main breakthroughs are the drivers of this change:
- Faster transportation means ensuring faster delivery of goods and services.
- Faster transmission of messages over the internet and telecommunication networks over great distance.
Faster way of delivery of goods provide business the opportunity to send goods to customers globally and faster transmission of message also aided quick delivery of messages.
This advancement led to better business opportunity for the organizational business model, which led to huge profit. However, these same drivers, are gradually proving to be bane of the organizational business model.
In 2008 a company called Uber was born. They propose a business model in contrast to the traditional organizational model. In this model, the spotlight is placed on the transacting parties; in their case; the driver and the rider. While trust is handled by leaving a review and social proof on the platform for the service provider.
The driver can sign up to offer transportation service to the rider. The transactions are managed on a software that helps in the quick transmission of the transaction details.
This model leaves the service provider with a larger sum of the transaction fee unlike in the organization business model where the organization takes the bulk of the profit and pay the service provider a fixed wage.
The service provide can gain more in relation to work input. On the other hand, the customer enjoys a more affordable service.
Also, for trust of the quality of service, the customer is provided with enough information as with the reviews of other customers for a particular service provider. Top service providers get high ratings and are ranked high on the platform.
This is exactly how it was in the earliest times when business transaction was limited to the community and poor service is easily known by everyone in the community.
Only that technology, makes it easy and fast transmission of message and transportation now makes individual sellers get business transactions from far reaching cities and even globally.
For instance, a Nigeria seller can sign up on Amazon.com (a US based company) and sell products on their platform, they do not necessarily have to see the product because another company can fulfil the delivery for them. At the end Amazon.com only take a percentage, leaving seller with the bulk of the money.