Looming pandemics on the rise, urgent need for facilities across country: Chairman

Bengaluru, Dec 24, 2014

Apollo Hospitals plans to raise “millions of dollars” that can help the healthcare chain open new hospitals all over the country, says Chairman Prathap C Reddy.

While he did not go into specifics, the Chairman said with looming pandemics in the form of diabetes, cancer, heart and other ailments on the rise, there is an urgent need to set up quality medicare facilities in the country.

Expansion plans

The company has 8,488 beds across 51 hospitals and is aiming to expand its reach of clinics from 14 to 20 centres in Karnataka, officials said. The hospital chain is also looking to open its Apollo Reach Hospitals in Bellary, Hubli and Mangaluru in the next two years.

Reddy believes that while India has a youthful population, there are concerns surrounding their health.

This is corroborated by World Health Organization (WHO) data, which point out that $6.5 trillion, or 58 per cent of India’s GDP, is spent on diseases. WHO also estimates that the number of deaths because of cancer will rise to 7 lakh by 2015, according to WHO.

Super-specialty hospital

The healthcare provider plans to also set up a super-specialty hospital at a a suburb in Bangalore, which will have 50-bed ICU services. This is part of Apollo’s plans to increase capacity to 1,000 beds by 2016.

Healthcare providers are trying to address the dual problem of shortage in capacity as well as trained physicians. According to Reddy, India needs 1 lakh beds in the next 10 years. At present, India ranks among the lowest, with 0.9 beds per 1,000 people, below the global average of 2.9 beds, according to the WHO.

Medical tourism

Apollo Hospitals has invested Rs.500 crore in setting up three hospitals in Karnataka. Apollo also sees opportunities in medical tourism.

“We have generated around RS.100 crore in foreign exchange from medical tourism and believe that with our infrastructure and quality of doctors, we can tap into this opportunity,” said Reddy. Business Line


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