Dr Bhim Sen Bansal, Managing Director, RG Stone Urology & Leproscopy Hospital reveals his passionate journey in Indian healthcare. In conversation with Sharmila Das, ENN, he discusses laproscopics procedures that are less painful
Tell me the objective behind the launch of RG Stone Hospital?
Basically, I’m a day dreamer. I had a dream; the dream was all about the possibility of discharging the patient the very next day. How they can be saved from big scars of open surgeries, how we can make the post operative complications less and shorten the hospital stays, how the patient can resume his regular work at the earliest. I was very passionate to achieve these goals. After bringing the first machine from Siemens Company it proved to be miraculous and I first deployed this machine in our Mumbai center. 26 years back Mumbai was the center of all activities, therefore I planned to start my center in Mumbai and we were successful in that. We could treat patients without open surgeries.
Did you have any educational qualification to start in this segment?
I am basically a family physician. I as having my practice in old Delhi. Because of my dream and passion I left my stable career, went to Mumbai and started the first RG Center and this was followed by another center in Delhi.
I was the first buyer of Siemens Company products. They produce machines and first it put on for testing and then they send for FDA approval and I was fortunate to buy the first machine for India. After that I did not look back and went on increasing the number of hospitals. My aim was not only commercial. My aim was to avoid bleeding, scars, long staying in hospital, and cut.
After bringing the first machine from Siemens Company it proved to be miraculous and I first deployed this machine in our Mumbai center. 26 years back Mumbai was the center of all activities, therefore I planned to start my center in Mumbai and we were successful in that.
Where did you get the seed funding?
I used my saved money of 38 years practice and rest got it financed from the bank.
What was the cost of the machine you first purchased from Siemens?
At that time it was priced approximately `3.5 crore. 26 years back this was the first machine of its kind in the country. Even the All India Institute of Medical Institute (AIIMS) had bought the machine six or seven years later.
What was the role of the manufacturer in convincing your bank?
I was in US with my wife on a family vacation. One evening, somebody from my patients who were there in USA called me along with some other doctors of 11 or 12 people for a private get together. He introduced me to Dr Singhal and when I started
speaking to this doctor he jokingly introduced himself as stone breaker. He told me in Hindi, ‘I break kidney stones’. That was my first exposure in 1986 in USA. Thereafter I went to see his clinic at Orlando where a lady was lying almost naked in bathtub. The doctors were passing current to her body and she was given anesthesia. With this procedure, the kidney stones did break but there was a big noise. That made me restless and I resolved to find out machines which were free from noise and also pain.
I travelled to Europe, and coincidentally I met a person onboard who introduced me to a machine produced by Siemens. I visited their manufacturing unit and all my requirements were fulfilled. I was the first to import the machine called ‘lithotripsy’ and went on increasing chain of hospitals and all my requirements were procured from Siemens. Next, I ventured into laser machines and started to treat prostate.
What are the medical specialty services that you offer?
We offer Urology and Laparoscopy services. In Urology, we do everything except kidney transplant. We have highly qualified doctors and the second advantage of the institute is that all the doctors work full time. Otherwise you will find most of the institutes have consultants who come for a couple of hours. We do Laparoscopic surgeries which used to be again open surgery for gall bladder, hernia etc. We do these surgeries without any cut and discharge the patient the next day.
The usual size of kidney is less 10 cm, and we operated a stone that was13cm long and that too without open surgery. For this achievement we were named in the Guinness Book of World Records
What are the emergency services that you are offering?
We have emergency services for all these things. For example, somebody is coming with a severe kidney stone pain; we admit him and accordingly treat him and advise him. We further investigate and suggest if endoscopic surgery is required.
About the multi specialty hospital, what do you think about the factors responsible for the growth of multi specialty hospital?
We focus on two concepts – one is laparoscopy and another is urology. In Urology we treat all kidney stones, any abnormalities, prostate cancer, kidney cancer etc. In Laparoscopy, we do all in hernia, gall bladder, ovarian cyst, uterus fibroid and discharge patient the very next day.
What are the technology advancement happened at your hospital?
In the beginning there was open surgery then we first brought ‘lithotripsy’ later on we developed endoscopy. With the help of the new technological advancements we break the kidney stones placed in very sensitive areas without a cut. Normally it would have taken 4-5 rounds of surgeries. Now robotic surgery is also a new technique but then it is very costly. We are developing country and no one can afford to pay `3 lakh rupees for robotic surgeries.
What are the plans to bring new technology?
We are in constant touch with all the latest technological innovations in urology; whenever it comes in we get an update.
Tell us till now how many patients the RG Stone has treated?
Collectively, we have treated more than 2.5 lakh patients in all centres. We sent our team to Rajasthan and Haryana to find out why people in these places were more prone to kidney stones. We found that in Rajasthan, because of excessive pasteurisation
and less intake of water people suffer more with kindey stones. Similarly in Haryana or Punjab people consume too much milk and other dairy products which also results in kidney stones.