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How to Start a Clinic in Nigeria

Read the step-by-step guide on how to start a clinic in Nigeria. Here, you will find the eligibility, registration procedures and equipment needed.

A clinic is a healthcare facility where people; mostly outpatients are diagnosed and treated for ailments.

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As opposed to hospitals, clinics focus more on rendering general practice services to outpatients. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, private clinics render about 60% of the health care services to the population of cities in Nigeria.

Running a clinic in Nigeria is actually a very profitable venture. This is because there is a constant need for the delivery of health care services in our country. As a matter fact, there seems to be a shortage of clinics to serve the people.

Private clinics appeal to a majority of people because the government owned health care facilities are seen to have been largely mismanaged over the years. Coupled with this, doctors and nurses in Nigeria are notorious for going on strike to press home their demands. When this happens, people are left with no other option than to consult private clinics.

Engaging in this business venture will definitely yield profit for the proprietor, if it is done properly. In this article, you will see the basic steps on how to start a clinic in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, only properly trained doctors with significant years of experience are allowed to own their own clinics. Also, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, any registered and properly trained nurse with a minimum of five years working experience can set up a clinic to handle only minor cases. These clinics must ensure that they refer all cases beyond them to the nearest general hospital for assistance.

The setting up and running of a clinic in Nigeria is very strictly regulated by the government agencies. The following are some of the steps one has to take before you decide to start a clinic in Nigeria.

  1. Do the Required Registration

As earlier stated, the set up and running of clinics in Nigeria is very strictly regulated by the government. It is very serious offence to operate a clinic in Nigeria without doing all the required registrations and accreditations.

First of all, you must begin by going to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). After completing the registration with the CAC, you will have to go ahead to register with the Federal Ministry of Health. Here, they will confirm if you have the required qualifications that will give you the legal rights to operate a clinic.

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See How To Register a Business

In most states of Nigeria, there are bodies that have been set up to monitor the activities of private clinics within the state. These bodies are set up to ensure that clinics maintain a laid down standard and to prevent the proliferation of quacks.

In Lagos State, they have the State Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), and before anyone can operate a health facility in the state, that person must be registered with HEFAMAA. HEFAMAA requires that anyone willing to register a clinic must meet the following;

  • The medical practitioner in charge must be adequately qualified in the practice of medicine.
  • Have registered and qualified nursing staff with a qualified matron to supervise them
  • A clinic premises approved by the authority
  • Suitable and adequate equipment
  • Adequate number of beds for inpatients
  • If the clinic engages in compounding of drugs, a qualified pharmacist registered with the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) must be employed.

Along with the above listed requirements, the following documents have to be provided

  • Passport sized photographs of the proprietor and medical director
  • Certificate of full registration as a medical practitioner
  • Photocopy of evidence of current practicing licence of all the doctors, nurses and midwives in the facility
  • Staff list
  • Access diagram of how to reach the clinic
  • Sketch of the clinic with labels and measurements in metres
  • Certificates and qualifications of doctors, nurses and midwives from college / university

These are the requirements for the registration of a clinic according to the Lagos State government. Although the requirements in all states might be similar, you will need to research on the requirements that are specific to the state where you intend to start your clinic.

  1. Select a Location

The above listed requirements clearly shows that the registration of clinics in Nigeria follows a very strict process. The regulating body will also require you to pick a suitable location for the clinic. While they will only specify the requirements for the building, the specific location of your clinic is up to you.

Just like any other business, the location of your clinic will go a long way in ensuring success in the long run. The most important factor you have to consider is accessibility. It is very important that your clinic is located in a place that people can easily reach.

  1. Hire the Right Staff

The importance of hiring the right people cannot be over emphasized. As earlier stated the regulating bodies require that you only hire qualified professionals to work in your clinic. Ensure that you scrutinize the certificates of your doctors and nurses to ensure that you do not run afoul of the law guiding health institutions. It is also advisable to hire a hospital administrator to cater for the day to day administrative duties.

  1. Buy Your Equipment

For a start, it is better to focus on the basic equipment that can enable the clinic to start off and also handle simple medical cases. Some of the basic things include;

  • Beds: The number of which depends on the size of your clinic
  • Medical Instruments: Instruments for minor surgeries, labour and delivery
  • Clinic Cards: To be used to register patients
  • Telephone: An intercom system to ease communication within the premises
  • Office Furniture
  • Vital Signs Equipment: Equipment such as scale (for checking weight), sphygmomanometer (for checking blood pressure) and stethoscope
  • Fans: To keep the clinic cool. You can go for air conditioners if you have the capital
  • Standby Generator.

As your clinic expands, you can then proceed to purchase other more sophisticated equipment.

A thorough understanding of the above listed steps will put you on a good footing to go about starting your own clinic. However, it will pay to carry out your own research to know the specific requirement in your locality.

Do you need a consultant to achieve this? If yes, kindly contact us

If you have any questions or ideas, please use our comments section below.

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Ikponmwosa Aikhionbare

Ikponmwosa Aikhionbare is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNigeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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  1. I am a nurse Practitioner in the USA, considering a move back to Nigeria. Would I be allowed to open a clinic and practice in Nigeria?

    1. Yes you will be allowed. We can help you set it up starting from registration. Kindly send us an email. Thanks

  2. I would like to establish a private hospital Ltd. (limited by shares), with me and my wife as the directors. I am a qualified medical doctor but my wife is not but has a a university degree. Are we eligible to have our business registered by the CAC or the two of us must be doctors? Thanks.

    1. Hello Emmanuel, this is quite possible. Your wife does not necessarily need to be a doctor because you also need other management staff apart from clinical staff.

  3. Hi, pls I want to ask if the proprietor of a private hospital need to be a medical practitioner. Thanks as I wait to read from you.

    1. It’s not compulsory that the proprietor has to be medical practitioner but it’s compulsory to have a medical practitioner as one of the director. Hope this helps

  4. This was very helpful, if you could put more information about starting a medical establishments in other states. There is hardly enough information on it online. Foreigners or people living outside Nigeria don’t know the necessary websites or Bodies so going their is out of the question.

    1. Hello Bubu, kindly send us an email, We can help in all the registration process to help you get started. Thanks

  5. National Association of Self Employed Nigerian (NASEN) is an economic base Association; we are consign in providing quality and affordable health care system to self employed persons in Nigeria.
    Can we run a clinic?

    1. Hello Bardi, the amount needed to start a clinic in Nigeria depends on so many things; infrastructure, staffing, and location. Kindly send us an email to get a customized business plan. Thanks

  6. I am not a medical doctor but a microbiologist. I want to know if I can start a clinic. And what Are my requirements? Thanks

    1. only if you have the relevance licence to operate. in any case, i advice you consult avidly within the medical field with QUALIFIED AND CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS and be properly guided likewise.

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