Developing a Business Model to Scale Up Surgical Services

New-York-based nonprofit Surgeons OverSeas (SOS) aimed to strengthen its collaboration with Sierra Leone’s main referral hospital, Connaught Hospital, by developing a surgical residency program and providing surgical assistance and support.

The partnership turned to Global Health Lab for ideas about developing a sustainable revenue stream. A team of MIT students gathered ideas from similar training programs, performed a market analysis, surveyed potential individual and corporate customers, and sought alternative funding opportunities. The team devised a cross-subsidization model in which a high-paying segment of the market would subscribe to the hospital for pre-evacuation stabilization care, with the resulting revenue enabling the purchase of needed surgical supplies and a residency program for local trainees. Although the practical implementation of students’ ideas for increased revenue remained elusive, with the help of the country’s Ministry of Health, within two years the hospital was able to improve its infrastructure, such as providing access to running water and established a private ward, in keeping with the students’ recommendations.


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Surgeons OverSeas Website

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