02 September 2010
By Bushra Baseerat
It was in 2003 when the state government last invested any funds in the health–care infrastructure when the new Gandhi Hospital building came up in Musheerabad. Cut to 2010, when the city has witnessed over a dozen private hospitals opening up in the last eight months alone taking the total number of health–care facilities in the twin cities to 1,200. Predictably, the number of government facilities in this figure is just a fraction.
Making their presence felt on the city’s healthcare canvas are 500–bed Narayana Hrudyalaya Malla Reddy Hospital in Jeedimetla; 100–bed Omega and Lazarus hospitals in Banjara Hills and Lakdi–ka–pul respectively. Offering specialised cancer care, multi speciality facility is Olive at Mehdipatnam. Sunshine orthopaedic hospital and a 150–bed Apollo Hospital in Secunderabad and a similar sized Care clinic at Tarnaka are among others. In fact, Dilsukhnagar has seen three new 100–bed hospitals, Indus, Omini and Orange, come up in the last few months.
Like an equal opportunities employer, the city has offered business to each of these hospitals with none really eating into the other’s patient base.
And not surprisingly, fuelling the rise in private hospital numbers is the cash–rich government scheme Aarogyasri, which industry experts note is pumping enough money into coffers of hospitals and patients on their beds. They note that such growth in the number of hospitals is only expected given that the existing ones are brimming with patients. Doctors opined that the current bed occupancy in most of the city hospitals varies from 80–110 patients per 100 beds. However, there continues to be a dearth of ICU beds.
With the state government planning to add 70 more treatments/procedures to the list of the existing 952 procedures under Aarogyasri, business would only get better, say experts.
Dr M Anil Kumar, vice president and clinical director, Narayana Hrudayalaya Mall Reddy Hospital says currently, health care is facing two major problems – surge in lifestyle and communicable diseases. "Hyderabad is unique for business in terms of medical tourism. Besides, with Aarogyasri, it is a totally different scenario unlike in other cities.
The corporate business model is changing because of such community health schemes. For big players, low volume and high profit is the business mantra but in the years to come, it’s going to be high volume and low cost because of schemes like Aarogyasri," according to Dr Kumar.
In fact, experts in the field say that the city has also become a hub for doctors from Orissa, West Bengal and Assam where the medical infrastructure is not on par with states like AP. These doctors are lapping up opportunities in Hyderabad by joining bigger brands and settling down here.
The boom in health care in Hyderabad is also due to more awareness among patients. "These days everyone’s concern is early detection and cure. Though the patientbed ratio continues to be far less as health–care facilities are not equally proportioned, Hyderabad has gone through a sea change in terms of infrastructure during the last two decades," says Dr B Bhaksar Rao, MD and CEO, Kims.
Hyderabad’s central location too has added to its appeal not only within AP but in neighbouring states.
There is now need for equally good facilities in the other parts of the state, notes Dr Mohana Vamsy who started Omega Hospital.
In The Pipeline
- Narayana Hrudayalaya Malla Reddy Hospital is coming up with a 5,000–bed Health City (the first of its kind in AP) on a 40–acre land at Jeedimetla
- Apollo Hospital, Jubilee Hills, is planning to come up with specialised birthing suites for pregnant mothers
- Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (Kims) is coming up with an ultra–modern medical centre to cater to cancer patients and all kinds of organ transplants. A multi–cuisine restaurant, presidential suites with ante room, pantry for each floor are part of the project