Exploring the business models of private health care providers in an emerging African market context
A review of the private health sector of some economies shows the growing use of business models, by health care providers in the sector, to improve health care provision whilst simultaneously increasing financial performance. This growing use has been based on the ability of business models to engage the resource-based and market-based principles, which have been shown to provide a sustainable competitive advantage for firms in diverse industries. Emerging African economies like Ghana could leverage business models to improve the performance of their private health sectors. However, the application of business models is still unclear in these countries. This study thus sought to investigate how Ghanaian private hospitals apply business models, with reference to Alex Osterwalder's business model canvas. Findings were analyzed using the directed content analysis method. The results of the study showed the evidence of resource-based and market-based principles in Ghanaian private hospitals’ application of business models. The study also showed the existence of different business models within the Ghanaian private sector based on observed differences in the elements being utilized by each hospital. There were peculiar findings such as the reliance of private hospitals on the public sector for the provision of more advanced medical services, training and research; even as private hospitals are expected to be more efficient resource managers From the findings, further research is directed at investigating value flows between various blocks of the business model canvas and their impact on the Ghanaian private health sector.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2016
Ghana, business model, private health care, finance