Dr Chris Ngige, the Nigerian Labour Minister caused a massive media storm in 2019 when he stated that the country had too many doctors and was not suffering any brain drain.
And so the argument went on, both for and against the minister’s position.
But even if the minister’s position was factual, given the huge size of the Nigerian population and the healthcare needs of the populace, can health workers really be unemployed, underemployed or lack opportunities to solve healthcare problems and make money for themselves?
As a health worker, why should you push to explore additional options to increase your earnings at all? For one, a vital strategy for attaining financial security is to have multiple income streams.
Earning a supplementary income not only offers a buffer against constant struggle to make ends meet but also a means to build sufficient cash reserve to pursue important goals such as early retirement, further education or spending more time with the family.
Call it side jobs, hustles or side businesses, presented below are 15 opportunities you can explore as a health worker in Nigeria to increase your earnings significantly.
1. Home Care
Rising migration alongside career mobility is driving more Nigerians to live far away from their aged parents and vulnerable family members.
Not only that, the fear of contracting Covid-19 is causing many people to avoid going to the hospital.
In addition, the ongoing Uberisation of healthcare in the country is increasing consumers’ access to health services from their mobile phone.
The aforementioned factors are driving a greater demand for home care across the country.
The growing demand for home care offers health workers tremendous opportunities to make extra income by providing patients with medical, nursing, rehabilitation or personal care services to patients at home or other domestic care settings for an agreed fee that typically ranges from N5,000 to N20,000 per visit.
2. Telemedicine Consultation
There has been a growing demand for video medical consultation in Nigeria since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergence of several telemedicine providers like MobiHealth International, MyMedicalBank, Redcare HMO, and Tremendoc is creating opportunities for healthcare professionals to offer consultation, diagnosis and routine follow up to patients remotely for various fees set by the providers.
The providers in general recruit health workers on a full time, part time or Locum basis with some paying based on the number of sessions provided by the health worker. MyMedicalBank for instance pays between N1,000 and N2,000 to healthcare professionals providing telemedicine on its platform.
3. Healthcare Training
You can earn supplementary income by working as a tutor or facilitator with a healthcare training provider or by setting up your own training platform online or in-person.
There is a plethora of training opportunities in healthcare from medicine and nursing to rehabilitation and public health.
There are thousands of training providers offering courses in continuous professional development programme across all healthcare disciplines.
There are providers in the areas of basic life support, first aid, health and safety, infection control, occupational health, health informatics and community health.
Many providers pay N20,000 or more per lecture depending on the course. An organisation like MyMedicalBank pay doctors and nurses N10,000 per day at their monthly Home Care Attendant Training.
Alternatively, you can set up your own training platform to offer extra coaching for students aspiring to secure admission into nursing or medical schools or to current undergraduate students who need extra help with preparations for their degree exams or transition to work.
For online training, you can use platforms like Google Classroom, Udemy, Instagram, Telegram or Facebook private group.
4. Blogging and Vlogging
When most people in Nigeria hear the word ‘blog’, what comes to mind intrinsically is Linda Ikeji, Bella Naija, Ogbongeblog or some other top blogs.
Not many people can readily think of any popular health blog contextual to Nigeria.
Considering the high level of health illiteracy in Nigeria evident in the preponderance of misinformation on health issues even among the educated, as a healthcare professional you can combat this problem by writing health educational articles regularly or creating short video contents.
You can have a YouTube channel or start your own blog for free using WordPress or Blogger or simply have your contents published on existing platforms like MyMedicalBank’s Resources.
While blogging and vlogging may not fetch you immediate income, as long as you are consistent in producing high quality contents that people benefit from, with time you will be able to monetize your blog through advertisements or charge to have them published on any platform.
5. Publish Healthcare Books and Magazines
Who is better placed to write books on nursing than a registered nurse?
Who is better placed to write books on healthcare issues for the general public than a healthcare professional?
You can monetize your knowledge by writing printed books, ebooks or online magazines and distribute them across different channels online and offline starting from within your social and professional network.
A good example is Health Lens Magazine started last year by Banke Apata a nurse at Lagos Univeristy Teach Hospital (LUTH). The online magazine has a mission to educate the general public, by disseminating current information on a wide variety of issues relating to health care and relevant information.
6. Be Involved in Community Health Outreaches
From time to time, NGOs, churches, mosques, political parties and corporate organisations organise community health outreaches as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the public.
The outreaches often entail offering free services such as immunization, general health checks, cancer screening, minor treatments and surgeries, campaigns, health campaigns and drugs supply among others.
You can make money by working with these sponsors where you get paid per day for the services you provide.
Search platforms like Eventbrite, Health Market, All Events, Health blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram for upcoming events and reach out to the organisers for ad-hoc work opportunities.
8. Agency Shift Work
As a doctor, nurse, midwife, pharmacist, medical laboratory scientist or rehabilitation therapist, you can make more money by working extra shifts in your health facility and with other facilities directly or via a recruitment agency.
While it is true that many healthcare providers in Nigeria are still reluctant to allow external health workers to cover urgent shift work in their health facilities, the good news is that many others are now amenable to this idea as long as the professional status of the Locum worker can be readily verified.
To receive these opportunities, you will need to register your availability with the relevant recruitment agencies in advance.
9. Provide Occupational Health Services
Not many corporate organisations in Nigeria have the capacity to employ full time healthcare practitioners to handle their occupational health matters but all of them need these services even when all might not have realized the need for it.
You can make extra income by offering bespoke occupational health services such as pre-employment health assessment, safety training, preventing and removing health risks arising in the workplace and general health education and surveillance.
10 Become a Health Coach
Health coaching is a very popular way to top up your earnings. You can offer one-to-one sessions with clients or classroom-styled sessions online or in-person.
As a healthcare professional, you have acquired expert knowledge, skills and experience over time with which you can coach people on issues such as weight loss, keeping fit, physiotherapy exercises, nutrition, pregnancy, care of the elderly, baby care, sexual health or maintaining healthy work-life balance among many others.
11. Sell healthcare products
The healthcare market in Nigeria is huge. Aside a massive population of 200 million who constitute the healthcare consumers, there are approximately 200,000 registered nurses and midwives, 40,000 doctors, 22,000 pharmacists, 3,000 physiotherapists alongside over 70,000 hospitals, medical laboratories, care providers, HMOs, pharmacies and medical logistics companies who constitute healthcare providers in the country.
There are numerous products you can sell to both customer segments.
There are lab coats, uniforms, lanyards, nurse watches, log books, training aids and numerous products you can sell to other health workers anywhere in Nigeria through e-commerce platforms like Jumia, Health Market, Konga and Jiji.
You can equally leverage social media platforms like Facebook Markerplace, Instagram or Telegram to sell your merchandise.
You can become an affiliate marketer or a medical representative to sell for other companies.
12. Referral Partnership
The healthcare market is becoming increasingly competitive with many consumers looking for honest advice in making booking or purchasing decisions.
By the same token, many healthcare organisations are offering health workers and others to become partners and promote their services to the public.
Redcare HMO, one of Nigeria’s leading health maintenance organisations rewards their referral partners with a commission as much as 5% of the total premium of any health insurance plans an enrollee subscribes to.
Similarly, Waka2Cure, one of the largest providers of rehabilitation services in Nigeria rewards doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other referral partners with 10% of whatever bookings they refer people to make. This means for referring in a client who books a N100,000 package, as a health worker you get N10,000 from it with your earnings credited to your account every Friday.
13. Create Digital Marketing Contents
Try search Google Images for healthcare in Nigeria. Hardly would you find quality and copyright-free images or images of black people you can use in the design for flyers, posters, websites and other publications targeted at predominantly black populace.
If you are a digitally inclined healthcare professional, you can use your spare time to design and sell digital contents.
14. Research / Survey
How many paediatric consultants are in Nigeria? Where are they located?
Of the over 5,000 hospitals in Lagos State, how many are equipped to handle accident and emergency services?
What are the latest shifts and trends in healthcare in Nigeria?
What are the statistics on 5-year Breast cancer rate, mortality rate and incidence in the country?
Where are radiotherapy centres located in Nigeria?
The above are some examples of vital questions that policy makers, health businesses and investors are looking for answers to.
Can you develop yourself to become a go-to-resource person when it comes to finding answers to these questions? Can you be contacted to commission reliable survey in healthcare?
These are money making opportunities you can explore as a health worker.
15. Provide Medical Cover at Events
Events like sporting competitions, religious programmes, political rallies require the services of healthcare professionals to provide standby medical cover ranging from first aid, CPR to medical advisory and pre-entry health screening.
Start out by teaming up with a few professional colleagues and contact organisers of these events with a proposal to provide basic medical cover at the events.
What other money making opportunities can you recommend for health workers in Nigeria? Share thoughts by leaving a comment below.
www.mymedicalbank.com is Nigeria’s no.1 digital platform that connects consumers with healthcare providers, health information and their health records from their smartphone. For enquiries, go to www.mymedicalbank.com/contact.