Start Your Own Pathology Laboratory in India | High Profitable Business

do you want to know how to sart your own diagnostic centre or pathology lab business step by step?

Pathology Lab or A Diagnostics Centre or Blood Test Center is synonymous to one another. It deals with the examination of samples of body tissues. This helps in determining the cause of a particular disease for the proper treatment of the patient. The increase in the rise of diseases affecting the patients has given rise to the increase in pathological laboratories across India. The range and complexity of disease makes it more and more important to examine the patient at the beginning of the treatment. The need for laboratories has risen more than ever before.

Want to know how to open a lab collection centre?

Let us first look into the types of medical tests performed in a diagnostic centre. People are in the lookout for accessible and budget-friendly laboratories to diagnose their treatment. Some of the medical tests performed in diagnostic centre are as follows:-

  1. Bio-Chemist– Laboratory analysis of body fluids such as urine, stool etc.
  2. Radiology – Medical tests using imaging techniques such as CT scan, x-rays, MRI, PET and USG.
  3. Pathology – What is Pathology all about? Ans: Pathology is about medical investigation of blood, a Pathologist (M.B.B.S) test and investigate blood samples and gives a report.
  4. OPD- Outdoor Patient Department or OPD is a medical centre or a clinic where the doctor advises the patient for his/her treatment .

If you wish to start your own pathology business, it is sure to become profitable due to its high demand and scope. Below mentioned are a few statistics on the existing pathological and testing laboratories in the Indian market economy:

  • India has more than 10,000 diagnostics including the pathology and radiology centres all across the country.
  • Pathology accounted for nearly 80% of the market 
  • Radiology accounted for the remaining 20%. 
  • 90% of the total players in this industry are unorganized
  • Size of diagnostic industry pegged at around $5 billion, growing at 15-16% annually

If you still want to know how to start a business of diagnostic centre in India? Here are the minimum requirements to Start a Diagnostic/Pahology Centre in India :


6 Essential Steps to start your own diagnostic centre

#1. Registrations and Licenses  

Know the reason why Licenses are must for pathology or diagnostic centre business in india

The primary requirement to set up a pathology laboratory in India is to get your business registered with the government and acquire licenses and accreditations. These licences vary from place to place and business to business in India.

Medical industry focuses on safety of their patients and in order to ensure that many rules and regulations are to be followed in setting up of a highly skilled team of professionals like doctors, nurses, technicians and pathologist for the success of their pathological centre. In order to get the reports accepted in hospitals and nursing homes, licenses are required otherwise it would be considered illegal.

Take legal measures and apply for the licenses accordingly. Some important licence for pathology lab are mentioned below:

  • One Pathologist (MBBS), One Qualified Lab Technician and a Physical Location is must before applying on any.
  • Accreditation from Good Clinical Practices (GCP)
  • Get registered with-
    • Shops and Establishments Act ( Trade License) – From your local Municipality office or Panchayat Office
    • Clinical Establishment Act – Apply Online
    • Biomedical waste disposal body – CPCB – Apply Online
  • Get approval for waste generation from pollution board in your state
  • Get NOC from State Fire department and Local Municipality Office
  • For Large Center Only (Optional): Accreditation from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)
  • Note: Some process are different depending upon the cities like- Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore – Chennai, Kolkata – West Bengal, Pune, Kerala, Odisha, Jaipur – Rajasthan, Ahmedabad – Gujrat, Uttar Pradesh, Patna – Bihar as per State Government health policy.
Talk to an expert to get advice to know how to set up a pathology lab and requirements for setting up a medical laboratory

#2. Location

know how to open lab collection centre in India and which location is better for it.

Another important requirement for any health-care setup its location. The healthcare centre being set up should not be very far away or inside any house-buildings. It should be located at such a place and preferably on the ground floor (if possible) so that patients like the elderly, expectant mothers and the sick are able to easily commute to the place in order to avail the facilities of the centre for the proper diagnosis of their illness. 

The medical equipment also requires ample space and a cool environment for their efficient functioning which shall be provided by the air conditioners. For instance, an MRI can cost anything between Rs 1,000 and Rs 6,000 depending on the lab, its location as well as its geography.

What is the Minimum Area Required to Start a Pathology or Diagnostic Centre in India?

  • For Pathology: It is depending upon state to state and type of centre, but in general minimum 500Sq.ft area required to setup a pathology lab centre only.
  • For Radiology: If you have Radiology service then additional space/area required with protected rooms to control radiation as per Medical Authority Guide Line. The exact area is again depending upon type of radiology service, accreditation and state noms. But in-general for Dental Radiology 150Sq.ft are additionally required.
  • For Bio-Chemist: the area in Sq.ft depends live above but a Toilet for Male & Female is compulsory with a hand basin with water supply.

Additional Infrastructure & Facility Requirement (Must):

  1. Desktop/ Laptop – ( minm – 1)
  2. Lab Software (for report printing)
  3. Dust-bin(minm – 2)
  4. Toilet – (minm – 1)
  5. Refrigerator (minm – 1)
  6. Minimum furnitures and chairs

Remember: The location will be physically inspected and surveyed by different Govt. Authorities, so keep ready with the necessary infrastructure.


#3. Finance/ Investment

pathology or diagnostic centre is high profitable business with low investment

The setup cost of the lab purely depends on the services offered and investment you make in the business. The more the investment, more are the chances of patients coming to the pathology centre for diagnosis. Higher investments leads to higher services offered in the pathology that leads to increase in the number of patients coming to avail the services in the pathology centre.

Most of the diagnostic centres or pathologies in India belong to the unorganized sector of the economy in India. However, a recent transition on the move of these diagnostic centres from the unorganized to the organized sector of the economy is seen. You must know that machineries are the most expensive to bear with and require air conditioning, electricity, water, maintenance and qualified technicians to work efficiently. This may lead to a high capital investment. 

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ALSO READ : Top 10 Diagnostic Management Software


#4. Medical Equipment

Instruments like clinical X-Ray machines, CT Scan machines, blood collection equipment, etc. are needed in running of a pathology lab. Without the equipment and their proper chemicals it is not possible to make the laboratory run.  Many a times it is advisable to prepare a checklist of all the instruments that are to be bought and set up in your own pathology so that one may not miss out!

What is the minimum requirement of equipment/machinery to start a pathology centre:

Download the Full List of Pathology Equipments

requirements for setting up a medical laboratory

#5. Qualified Technicians

Your staff is the reflection of your organization. You should appoint people who are professionals in their field of work. Laboratory technicians are also appointed to the thorough control of overall control and knowledge of the machines used in the laboratories.

Trained and experienced staff should be appointed to make less error and adapt to the methods of laboratories. Due to its growth and the attainment of various licenses and accreditations, pathology laboratories need qualified professionals who shall carry out its medical care and diagnosis. 

What is the minimum qualification required to open a pathology lab in India:

  • S/he should be a qualified pathologist (M.B.B.S) and must have required license to practice from the Medical Council of India.
  • S/he will require a biochemist, a pathologist and a microbiologist for the pathology.
  • Lab technicians with Diploma or bachelor’s in medical lab technology can easily qualify to open a pathology in India.

#6. Software Tools

List of the best diagnostic management software and pathology application

To set up a modern and hi –tech lab everything must be computerised. This helps in working in an organized manner as well.

To name a few and how they work, here is a list of modern software that helps in lab management:

  • ThinkLab –  it is an easy-to-use software that keeps a track of medical records, scheduling & appointments, specialization based EMR, prescription management, case-based tracking, billing, inventory, analytics & MIS, alerts and notification, private chat, etc
  • ThinkWide–  A fully automated laboratory solution that helps in the supervision of nursing homes, polyclinics, medical shops, pathology, and radiology labs. 
  • LiveHealth – With LiveHealth, you get the best solution to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which helps to maintain, manage and share your health records with your doctor as well.
diagnostic centre management software cum pathology reporting software as CRM

How Much Will It Cost To Open A Pathology Lab In India? 

Do you know how much money you need to pitch into this business?

How much will it cost and How to Open or Setup Pathology Lab in India

The setting up of a laboratory requires one to invest in the services that are offered in the laboratory. The more the services offered in the laboratories, higher are the chances of more and more patients utilising those services for their medical needs. 

The laboratory setup cost gives an idea of where the money will be going into:

  • The location or ample amount of space needed in setting up of the laboratory. 
  • The maintenance of the machineries gives rise to the cost factor  and air- conditioners are required to keep the environment cool
  • Machinery but also software tools are required without which the pathology will be unable to function efficiently.
  • Qualified technicians and a team of skilled, professional staff is also needed to have a thorough control and knowledge over the working of the machines being used in the laboratories.
  • Costs such as expenses on maintenance of machineries, electricity, water, chemicals.
  •  Payment of the salaries of the staff working in the laboratory is also to be included in the cost factor of setting up the pathology.

Cost & Investment Summary:

Want to know What is the minimum investment and cost to open a pathology lab in India?

Cost TypeSmall ScaleMedium ScaleLarge Scale
1. Space &
Location
(As Rent)
Rs. 5000 to
Rs. 25,000/-
(Per Month)
25,000/- to
Rs. 70,000/-
(Per Month)
Rs. 70,000/-
and above
2. Trade
Registration
Rs. 1000 to
Rs. 5000
Rs. 1000 to
Rs. 5000
Rs. 5,000 to
Rs. 30,000
3. Get NOCRs. 0/- to
Rs. 20,000/-
Rs. 0/- to
Rs. 50,000/-
Depending
upon source
and city
4. Certificate of
Incorporation
(Optional)
Rs. 20,000/-
and above
5. ISO
Certification
Rs. 7000/- to
Rs. 17,000/-
Rs. 15,000/-
and above
6. NABL
Registration
Rs. 1 Lakh
& above
Download
Fees Chart
7. Other
Un-explained
Costs
Rs. 20,000/-
and above
(One time)
Rs. 20,000/-
and above
(One time)
Rs. 50,000/-
and above
(One time)
7. Furnitures
&
Decorations
Rs. 50,000/-
and above
Rs. 3.5 Lakh
and above
Rs. 8 Lakh
and above
8. Pathology
Testing
Equipments
Rs. 60,000/-
and above
Rs. 2.8 Lakh
and above
Rs. 9 Lakh
and above
8.1 Semi-
Automated
Equipments
Rs. 15 Lakh
and above
9. Radiology
X-Ray
Rs. 2.5 Lakh
and above
Rs. 6 Lakh
and above
> USGRs. 4.5 Lakh
and above
Rs. 13 Lakh
and above
> CT ScanRs. 85 Lakh.
(Approx)
10. Re-agent
Stocks &
Others
Rs. 10,000/-
and above
(per month)
Rs. 50,000/-
and above
(per month)
Rs. 2 Lakh
and above
(per month)
11. Software*Rs. 10,000/-
and above
(per year)
Get it Free
Rs. 30,000/-
and above
(per year)
Get Demo
Rs. 50,000/-
and above
(per year)
Get Demo
12. Manpower
& Salary
Rs. 20,000/-
and above
(per month
for 2 person)
Rs. 60,000/-
and above
(per month
for 4 person)
Depending
upon
Business
scope
13. DoctorsRs. 7000/-
to Rs. 10,000/-
(per month
on contract)
Rs. 15,000/-
to Rs. 30,000/-
(per month
on contract)
On Pay roll
Total
Initial Cost

Approx
Rs. 2.8 Lakh
and above
Rs. 18.5 Lakh
and above
Rs. 1.75 Crore
and above

3 Tips to save Money and Cost cutting:

  • Get Registered with GST, though the industry not falls under taxable but still the Testing Equipments and the Machineries are high value and come with high rate of GST (Tax). Therefor you may take it into Input GST to save additional 18% cost as tax.
  • If you are new into this pathology business or you have small budget and startup then you may got for used and good conditions of radiology machineries like -X-Ray, USG to save extra 50% of cost.
  • Earning in one hand and spending highly on another hand is not a smart way of doing business in long run. Use quality pathology software for reporting from the day 1, it will help you to control on billing and earning, getting patients/ clients confidence by keeping the life-long health data and it will also protect you from the most important internal manipulation or misuse of money/ earning.

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Other way to run the pathology business

Diagnostic Centre Franchise

Want guaranteed returns on your pathology business?

Medical Franchise or a Diagnostics Franchise is a smart and fast way to earn returns on your business plan of setting up a pathology laboratory. 

You can enjoy ownership alone by appointing a very efficient pathologist to have a control over all the activities of the lab. Appointment of the staff will also be done by the pathologist .You will be a person only to provide funds and to earn profits, but the entire setup will be under the control of the pathologist.

Diagnostics like Sukraksha Diagnostic, SRL Diagnostics, Dr. Lal PathLabs, Thyrocare, Lifecare, Speciality, Ranbaxy labs provide franchises to grow their business to ones who wish to set up a pathology laboratory. They provide all the support and encouragement to grow with the organization. Franchisees are better suited since they require minimum investment, low running costs and attractive financial returns.

If plan A does not work, there is plan B. 

You shall make contracts with smaller labs to help them in services which they do not provide or is inefficient of providing due to lack of specific machines. If you are able to do so, your laboratory would receive more patients and also you can sell them your franchise in order to expand your business.

Another way is have tie-ups with hospitals or nursing homes that do not have a laboratory.  These hospitals require medical imaging or testing of blood samples in order to carry out the treatment of their patients. They shall send their patients to your diagnostic to carry out the tests or scans in order to proceed the treatment.



FINAL WORD

  • Proper planning with implementation and making decisions helps in growing this business.  
  • Among the 10,000 laboratories, 70% offer pathology services and the rest 30% provides imaging such as MRI, CT- Scan , X-rays, PET and USG. 
  • Consumers are aware of the market with differential prices of similar services.  For patients, however, it is a difficult choice because they are unable to evaluate the quality vis-a-vis the price. 
  •  Although corporate players such as Dr Lal Pathlabs, SRL Diagnostics and Quest Laboratories are gaining share, the industry is largely fragmented with over 90 % of the market being dominated by unorganized players.
  • If every requirement is met in an organized manner, the business is sure to grow and earn decent income. If you are looking to start a business in this line, the right time is now.

Content and Research Credit- Komal Chauhan, Akib Ahmed

Reference: Medical Council of India, WikiPedia, Business Standard

Picture Credit: Pixabay, FlatIcon

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