Creating a legacy, healing a community - Unjani Clinic
Creating a legacy, healing a community with Unjani Clinic
Too many South Africans have limited access to the primary healthcare they need. Rising to this challenge is Unjani Clinic, a healthcare business created to help under-served communities. Founded by Dr. Iain Barton, there are now over 140 clinics across the country, providing around 80 000 consultations a month. This is a unique concept: affordable, quality healthcare provided by professional nurses.
Overcoming unexpected challenges
Patricia Mbatsha, a registered nurse, is the owner of 3 Unjani Clinics. Since she left her career in Government in 2016, she has become an inspiring example of how to combine sound business principles with a commitment to care.
Patricia opened her first Unjani Clinic in Atteridgeville in Gauteng, having never run her own business. She was motivated by the idea of taking her future in her own hands while being in a position to offer a higher level of personalised care to people in her community. However, her wealth of experience as a nurse had not prepared her for the hurdles many entrepreneurs face at the outset of a new business venture. She encountered resistance in the form of people who didn't believe in her and an underlying mistrust of nurses running a clinic.
This meant that the first 18 months was a slow and testing period for the business. Fortunately, the conversations Patricia had with her FNB banker gave her reassurance and hope. She was advised to look at the community needs from a business perspective in terms of how to assess the market and build trust over time.
A healthier business model emerges
Patricia's patience eventually started to pay off as word-of-mouth spread about a place where waiting times were shorter and patient needs were put first. She went from seeing 1 patient a day to around 80, with her staff growing to 15 dedicated workers. Patricia has now become known as a leader of change who is inspiring others in the sector to carve out their own path in life, while making a difference that is felt by thousands of South Africans. She sees her guidance from FNB as essential in her journey and is reminded of this as she harnesses the power of tools such as her FNB App and Speedpoint to better serve her community.
A clear vision and dedication are the foundation points for every new business to succeed. Meaningful partnerships and conversations with the right people can be the decisive difference. Business owners like Patricia remind us that no new venture is without challenges. It's the courage and conviction to persevere that creates lasting change for good.
Visit the Unjani Clinic website for more information on www.unjaniclinic.co.za
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