Monday, January 17, 2011

Healthcare in India

Apollo Hospital Interview Part 1

Apollo Hospital Interview Part 2

Today we visited with key executives of Apollo Hospitals, India's largest private hospital company.

Founded in 1983 by Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, the company today has 53 hospitals and 9,500 beds. That makes it about the size of some of Nashville's leading hospital companies, which are among the largest in the U.S.

A day in Apollo's hospitals is amazing:

• Over 1,000 admissions

• Over 40,000 lab tests

• 175 MRIs and 270 CT scans daily

• 500 major surgeries

• 1,500 emergency room cases

We met with Anil K. Maini, president of corporate development for the parent company; Abhijit Majumder. general manager of the hospital in Delhi; and Dr. Karan Thakur, a young dentist who runs outpatient services in Delhi using the business skills he learned in two years of MBA study in the U.K.

You would have thought we were at a Nashville Health Care Council meeting.

Smart, savvy, extremely well educated, knowledgeable about U.S. healthcare as well as Indian healthcare, these three executives would have helped you to understand how we spend more per capita on healthcare than any nation on earth but only rank about tenth for what we get with our money.

They're converting to electronic medical records. They can do a knee replacement for half the cost in the U.S. They do organ transplants daily. They are working on wellness programs to combat epidemic levels of Diabetes Type II, a condition caused in India by genetics rather than by obesity as in our country.

They market their services throughout Asia but refuse to call the wealthy patient we saw checking in today a "medical tourist." These patients, who are attracted by the high quality of care and the reasonable prices, are simply "international patients."

Tom Friedman would have been proud because Apollo's world is definitely flat. Their hospitals daily whip x-rays around from doctor to hospital to radiologist via the digital highway, bringing healthcare to millions of rural Indians.

With the Frist family building a 500 bed acute care hospital in Shanghai and with pioneers like the Apollo group, Nashville's healthcare industry better be ready to go global because global medicine is a reality. And the market is measured in billions, not

thousands or millions.

Turney Stevens, Dean

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