July 2015

India Blossoms as Medical Tourism Hub

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Healthcare has been one of the slowest sectors to adapt and implement IT but definitely it is the future of healthcare industry, shares Dr S B Jhawar, Managing Director, Apex Hospitals, Jaipur with Kartik Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN)

Tell us about the healthcare scenario and challenges in Rajasthan?

Dr S B Jhawar, Managing Director, Apex Hospitals, Jaipur

Dr S B Jhawar
Managing Director, Apex Hospitals,

Rajasthan is the largest state in India by area constituting 10.4 per cent of the total geographical area of India and it accounts for 5.67 per cent of the population of India. We have an acute shortage of hospital beds, only 0.9 beds per thousand populations against a global average of 2.9 beds per thousand populations is available here in India. Another big challenge in healthcare industry is getting skilled medical and paramedical manpower. Hospitals are struggling with continuously decreasing average revenue per occupied bed. Better economic policies like loans given to purchase new equipment on subsidy, taxation relief, and easy policies for conversion of land to the hospital can significantly change the healthcare delivery scenario. The government should take initiative like relaxation in rules of permission for medical, dental and nursing colleges and timely approval for MLC.

What are the healthcare facilities provided by Apex Hospital?

Apex started functioning in 1994, since then it has emerged as fastest growing hospitals in Rajasthan. Apex Hospitals is a multispecialty chain of tertiary care hospitals in Malviya Nagar, Mansarovar and Suratgarh, with its centre of excellence critical care, renal transplant, joint replacement, cardiology, neurosurgery, plastic and cosmetic surgery, and bariatric and metabolic surgery.

What are your views on medical tourism in India? What initiatives has your hospital taken in medical tourism domain?

Medical tourism in India is at the nascent stage of development and the driving factor is the availability of affordable standardized quality care. In India, patients are coming for cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, fertility, bariatric surgery, cosmetic surgery and transplants. Rajasthan is a major tourist destination and located in the golden triangle, has a very good potential to attract medical tourist. We are treating the patients of various countries such as African countries, Gulf countries and the United Kingdom. We are the only hospital from Rajasthan, which had participated in Indian Medical Tourism Destination 2015 held at Dubai and Muscat, organised by FICCI.

We are providing arrangements and solutions to the medical tourists starting from pick and drop from airport, hotel booking, local tourist places visit, food arrangements as per their needs, interpreter and also assist them in VISA process. We also focus that their cultural needs are also taken care of and we have plans of coming up with a dedicated floor for international patients very soon.

What is your opinion on the adoption of IT in healthcare industry?

The implementation of advanced information systems is enabling great social and organisational changes. However, healthcare has been one of the slowest sectors to adapt and implement IT but definitely it is the future of the industry. The complexity of health organisations and their fragmented internal structure constrains their ability to adopt organisation-wide IT. This is further impacted upon by the relative immaturity of strategic health IT, which is complicated and unable to show quantifiable benefits. Both organisational and technological factors lead to the slow adoption of strategic IT.

What are your present operations in India and expansion plans?

We are running two hospitals in Jaipur, a 200-beded NABH accredited multispecialty hospital in Malviya Nagar and another is in Mansarovar with 50-beded facilities. We have started another project of 100 bed hospital in Suratgarh and by the end of this year we will start operations there. Our vision is to have 15 more hospitals in North West region of Rajasthan and nearby states with 1250-beded capacity by 2020.

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