Today, WhatClinic.com, a Tripadvisor style site for private healthcare, has launched in South Africa to meet the growing demand from consumers for information with over 500 clinics on its database and a promise to double that number in the next three months. Launched in 2007 by Caelen King, the clinic comparison site has over 100,000 clinics listed globally. The South Africa launch makes WhatClinic live in 127 countries.
“Our value proposition is based on empowering patients with easily accessible and centralised information to help them make informed decisions about their treatment… specifically, where to source the right treatment for them,” says King.
Research indicates that online healthcare decision making is growing – according to the company, 15.7 million people visit the site every year to find and book clinics. South Africa is viewed as being a strategic region in terms of the company’s growth. Patients from surrounding African countries are increasingly looking to the Southern African country for medical procedures.
Of the clinics already listed on the site it was revealed that there are a large number of overseas patients who travel to South Africa for cosmetic dental and plastic surgery. Many take advantage of the high quality of tourist accommodation, excursions and holiday activities while they have their treatment. Overseas enquiries for dental treatments in South Africa have gone up 159% in the past year alone, and enquiries for plastic surgery procedures are up 115%.
King highlights two important factors for online and overseas patients considering treatment – access to genuine patient reviews and up to date information on price and availability. “This is where we are positioned and where we add value,” he says.
According to Each listing provides data on location, opening hours, staff, treatments, prices and staff. It also empowers consumers to write reviews, and gives clinics scores based on customer service, responsiveness and patient feedback.
People visit the site to locate, compare and book treatments across a wide range of elective, self-pay medical treatments. These include dental, plastic surgery, fertility, orthopaedic and physiotherapy services, amongst others. At the same time medical practitioners and private clinic owners have the opportunity to find new patients from at home and overseas, while being given the opportunity to engage with a simple and effective online space for patient reviews and feedback.