Best of South – An insight into 12 hospitals based in the four southern states of India

Best Hospital in South India

[This article was published in the July 2009 issue of the eHEALTH Magazine (]

Coverage of some of the top-flight hospitals of South India, which are setting benchmarks in Indian healthcare Industry

Coverage of some of the top-flight hospitals of South India, which are setting benchmarks in Indian healthcare Industry


It is the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala where outstanding innovations in healthcare are taking place. South India stakes claim to some of the best  Indian healthcare achievements: home to the world’s biggest chain of eye hospital,  millions of medical tourists flock to get a low-cost treatment, innovative surgical procedures like first ‘awake surgery’ and provision of free care for poorest patients, to name a few.

Some of the disciplines for which South India is renowned worldwide are: Cardiology and Cardio-thoracic surgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery, In-Vitro Fertilization, Dental Care and Cosmetic Surgery, Orthopedic Treatment and‚  Renal and Bone Marrow Transplants, Ophthalmology and LASIK surgery, Neurology, Shoulder, Hip and Knee Replacement surgery and Hematology.

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This issue, we give you an insight into the 12 hospitals based in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which are among the top hospitals in South India in terms of adoption of technologies, cheaper treatments, R&D initiatives, sustainable business models, patient friendliness, IT usage and automation.

Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore

Established in 2001, Narayana Hrudayalaya is a 1000-bed multi-specialty hospital located in the outskirts of Bangalore. The hospital receives about 800 patients everyday. The hospital is known for providing affordable health care facilities to the needy.

Narayana Health city was conceptualised six years ago by creating a conglomeration of hospitals in one campus with a 1000 bed heart hospital called Narayana Hrudayalaya, 500 bed orthopedic hospital called Sparsh Hospital, 300 bed eye hospital with the infrastructure to perform 500 cataract surgeries everyday and 1400 bed cancer hospital a joint venture of Narayana Hrudayalaya with Kiran Mazumdar of Biocon. Projects in the making are a 500-bed Neuro hospital, 500-bed kidney hospital and a women and children hospital.

Narayana Hrudayalaya group has two heart hospitals in Bangalore and Kolkata which perform about 10 per cent of the heart surgeries done in the country. In Bangalore, the hospital has an infrastructure to perform 30 major heart surgeries in a day and in Kolkata 10 major heart surgeries in a day.

Narayana Hrudayalaya conducts 49 training programmes and is short-listed by the University Grant Commission for the status of the Deemed University. In 2003, Narayana Hrudayalaya in association with the state government launched a micro health insurance programme called Yeshaswini, which covers the healthcare of nearly 3 million farmers and is considered as India’s largest Micro Health Insurance Programme for a monthly premium of 10 rupees.

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Narayana Hrudayalaya in association with India’s Space Research Organization runs one of World’s largest Tele-Cardiology programmes using ISRO satellite and have treated close to 30,000 heart patients.

Wockhardt Hospitals, Bangalore

Founded in 2006, Wockhardt Hospitals, Bangalore, is a 400 bedded multi-speciality hospital with state of the art facility equipped with latest technology and clinical talent dedicated to the whole range of Cardiac, Orthopedic, Neurosciences, Minimal Access Surgery and Women and Child Services. Wockhardt Hospitals operates a chain of super-specialty hospitals in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Rajkot, Surat and Bhavnagar.

Wockhardt Hospitals, Bangalore, has become the first super-speciality hospital in South Asia to achieve accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), USA. With this, Wockhardt Hospitals joins an exclusive group of 71 hospitals worldwide, which have passed JCI’s stringent clinical quality standards. The hospital is the first in South Asia to be recognised by the American Blue Cross and Blue Shield association in its worldwide network of participating hospitals. It is recognised by 17 leading insurance providers across the globe, including CIGNA.

Wockhardt Hospitals has an exclusive association in India with Harvard Medical International, the global arm of Harvard Medical International, and is a treatment destination for patients from US, UK and other European Countries besides South Asia, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa.‚  The hospital has centers of excellence in Cardiac Care, Bone and Joint, Minimal Access Surgery, and Brain and Spine. A centre of excellence in Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Surgeries is a preferred destination for adult and pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgeries. The hospital provides treatment on the entire gamut of cardiac diseases from newborn to adolescent. The hospital has set benchmark in heart surgery by successfully performing the first Awake Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Repair Surgery in the country. The Wockhardt’s Bone and Joint Care has evolved as the centre of excellence for joint replacement surgeries and is equipped to treat all types of musculo-skeletal problems ranging from surgeries to minimally invasive arthroscopic surgeries. The hospital also specilalises in surgery for joint replacements, sports medicine, spine surgery and physical therapy for rehabilitation.

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Manipal Hospital, Bangalore

Manipal Hospital, Bangalore, is the flagship hospital of Manipal Health Systems (MHS). It is a 600 bedded hospital and plans to add another 300 beds soon. Today, the hospital has over 22 specialties and over 60 sub and super-specialities. Some of the centers of excellence are: MILDD (Manipal Institute of Liver and Digestive Disorders), MHI (Manipal Heart Institute), MINU (Manipal Institute of Nephrology and Urology), MIND (Manipal Institute of Neurological Disorders), Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Center and MARS (Manipal Andrology and Reproductive Services). MILDD has been one of the few institutes in India who have successfully conducted living liver related donor transplants.

MHS has 18 units operating all over India. To name a few–Vizag, Vijayawada, Manipal, Mangalore, Bangalore (4 units), Tumkur, Salem, Kasargod, Udupi and Goa.

The Manipal International Patient Care Cell caters to the needs and requirements of the international patients, right from looking into their medical query and providing them full support in acquiring a medical visa. The patients are assisted throughout their stay at the hospital. The hospital has a telemedicine facility which enables people from rural areas to consult with doctors from Manipal Hospital via an online system. This project was initiated in Andhra Pradesh.

Manipal Hospital is one of the few centers in India where Mesenchymal Stem cells clinical trial and experimental therapy is done. Also, Manipal Hospital is one of the few integrated development centers (IDC) in the world for GE. New GE coils and sequences are tested and validated at the hospital before release.
Hospital’s casualty is fully equipped to deal with all types of emergencies and has the full support of the intensive care units (ICU) in their respective areas of expertise.

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KIMS, Thiruvananthapuram

Established in January 2002, Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) is a 450-bed multi-specialty tertiary care hospital. Over the years KIMS has emerged as one of the leading centres of pioneering medical work, research and academics in South India with a global outreach. KIMS has over 40 specialities backed by comprehensive, best-in-class technology and well-trained para-medical staff. Some of the advanced facilities available at the hospital are: Cardiology and Cardiovascular surgery, Orthopaedics and Joint Replacements, Neurology and Neuro surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Cochlear Implant, Dental Procedures, Keyhole surgery, Cataract Surgery, Sleep Lab facility and Phonosurgery. Accredited by the National Board of Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) and the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards International (ACHSI), KIMS is the only hospital in India with both national and international accreditations. The hospital has dedicated intensive care units and nine state-of the-art operation theatres and provide round the clock emergency, laboratory, diagnostic and pharmacy services KIMS International Patient Relations Department offers international patients world-class treatment, personalised attention and a comfortable stay. Air-conditioned deluxe rooms and suites with telephone, television and internet are available to the patients. Our plush designer rooms on the utive floor offer luxury to our discerning patients. KIMS with its sister concern “The Great India Tour Company” offers extremely cost effective packages for a variety of ailments and a choice of tourist destinations for recuperation. KIMS Ayurveda compliments the healing environment by ensuring the goodness of Ayurveda. KIMS was awarded the stable rating by CRISIL for best financial reporting in the year 2008 and AV Gandhi Memorial Award 2007 and 2008 for excellence in Cardiology.

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) is a 1250-bed hospital spread over 94 acres of land. The hospital supports a daily patient volume of about 1400 outpatients and with a 95 per cent inpatient occupancy. Annual patient turnover touches a figure of over 4,60,000 outpatients and nearly 40,000 inpatients. AIMS infrastructure offers extensive facilities comprising 25 modern operating theatres, 210 equipped intensive-care beds, a fully computerised and networked Hospital Information System (HIS), a fully digital radiology department, a 24/7 telemedicine service and a NABL accredited clinical laboratory. AIMS has computerised nearly every aspect of patient care including all patient information, lab testing and radiological imaging and has more than 1300 computers. The Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University has four main campuses at Amritapuri, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Kochi. The medical college campus is attached to AIMS in Kochi. Educational programmes are offered in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Paramedicine both at graduate and post-graduate levels.

AIMS has been awarded research protocols from funding agencies such as the Department of Biotechnology (GOI), the Department of Science and Technology (GOI), the Indian Council of Medical Research, and the State Department of Science, Technology and Environment. AIMS is involved in multi-centred international clinical studies. Doctoral-level research facilities are available in certain areas of basic medical sciences and epidemiology.

The present areas of advanced clinical research at AIMS include: Molecular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Nano Medicine, Bio-degradable Stent, Heart Muscle Disease, Tumour Immunology, Vulnerable Plaque Recognition and Management, Studies on Tropical Pancreatitis & Hepatitis B.

SCTIMST, Thiruvananthapuram

Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology has a 239-bedded hospital for tertiary care of cardiovascular and neurological diseases, a biomedical technology wing with facilities for developing medical devices from a conceptual stage to commercialisation, and a center of excellence for training and research in public health. It is an Institute of National Importance established by an Act of the Indian Parliament.

All the departments in the hospital have up-to-date facilities for diagnosis and treatment including doppler echo-cardiography, cardiac catheterisation with digital subtraction angiography, CT scan, MRI facility, interventional radiologic procedures, balloon and laser angioplasty, surgery for intracranial vascular lesions, and open heart surgery for congenital and acquired diseases of the heart.

The hospital has recently started an epilepsy care programme which provides precise diagnosis, optimal drug therapy and appropriate counselling to patients with epilepsy. All the services are offered free of charge to the poor patients and at subsidised rates to low and middle income groups.

The Biomedical Technology Wing of Sree Chitra has played a pioneering role in the establishment of a medical device industry base in India by successfully developing and transferring technologies for diverse medical products, such, as disposable blood bag system, mechanical heart valve prosthesis, blood oxygenators, ophthalmic sponge, concentric needle electrode and hydroxyapatite-based biocermaic porous granules. The institute holds a number of international patents for devices and processes.

The institute has the status of a university and offers post-doctoral, doctoral and postgraduate courses in medical specialties, public health, nursing, basic sciences and health care technology. It is a member of the Association of Indian Universities and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies (AMCHSS) is a health sciences wing of‚  the Sree Chitra. The AMCHSS offers an international Master of Public Health (MPH) programme, short courses and Ph.D. programme.

Care Hospitals, Hyderabad

In 2000 the Care Group of Hospitals, owned by Quality Care India Limited (QCIL), acquired a five-star hotel premises at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad and converted it into 200-bed multi-specialty hospital. Today, the hospital stands tall with 430 beds, including 120 critical care beds, with annual inflow of 1, 80,000 patients for consultations, and 16,000 patients for admission. Care Hospital, Banjara Hills, is the flagship hospital of Care Group and comprises contemporary accommodation facilities ranging from general wards to super deluxe rooms.

With more than 150 specialist physicians, the hospital provides specialty medical services in cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, pediatric cardiology, pediatric cardio-thoracic surgery, neurology, neuro surgery, nephrology, urology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, pulmonology, ENT, orthopedics, organ transplants etc round the clock.

The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art equipments and has 10 operating rooms catering around 1700 cardiothoracic surgeries and 5000 non-cardiac surgeries annually. Over 4000 cardiac interventions are carried out in the advanced cathlabs every year.

The hospital also acquired the first dual source, 128 slice CT scanner (for high precision cardiac imaging), the first of its kind in South India. Care Hospital, Banjara Hills, also has the reputation of being the first hospital to launch online telemedicine services which links various district hospitals.

Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad

Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad is a 550-bed tertiary care centre. Spread over a campus area of 35 acres, the hospital has a built-up area of 190,000 square feet with over 50 medical and surgical disciplines. Its services are supported by sophisticated technology and experienced medical professionals. The hospital was the first in India to install a PET Scanner in 2005. The average staff to patient ratio for the hospital is 3:1 with a 1:1 ratio prevailing in priority areas like the Intensive Care Unit and the Cardiac Care Unit. The hospital receives close to 100,000 patients a year coming from Tanzania, the USA, the UAE, Kenya, Oman and neighbouring
Asian countries.

Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, is the first health city in Asia and is a perfect example of an integrated healthcare system offering solutions across the healthcare space. It has a a multi-specialty hospital with over 50 specialties and super-specialties, 10 centers of excellence, education, research, information technology. Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, covers the entire spectrum to illness to wellness and is thus a health city and not a medical city. Institutes for Heart Diseases, Cancer, Joint Diseases, Emergency, Renal Diseases, Neurosciences, Eye and Cosmetic Surgery are all centers of excellence and are positioned to offer the best care in the safest manner to every patient. Apart from patient care, each of these centers of excellence spend a significant amount of time in training and research essentially aimed at preventing disease and improving outcomes when the disease does occur.

Also, the Center for Innovation at Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, continuously works on identifying newer applications that would benefit both the sick and the healthy.

LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad

Started in 1987, L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Hyderabad,‚  is a comprehensive eye health facility with 73 beds. The LVPEI has two tertiary centres in Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam, and 72 secondary and primary care centres that cover the remotest rural areas in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The Andhra Pradesh centers alone have provided eye care to 1.5 million outpatients and over 50 per cent of these have received treatment free of cost. And, more than two thirds of 150,000 surgeries performed at the hospital have been without charging the patients. LVPEI also plays a key role in monitoring the quality of cataract surgery in 80 Rotary hospitals in the country.

The LVPEI‚  is a non-profit organisation governed by the Hyderabad Eye Institute (HEI) and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation (HERF). The mission of the institute is to provide affordable and competent eye care to all sections of society. Therefore, the institute focus on economically disadvantaged groups, including both the rural and the urban backward classes and extend their services to them through satellite clinics and rural affiliates. LVPEI’s innovative and comprehensive approach to community eye health, known as the LVPEI Eye Health Pyramid, has been adopted as a model by the Government of India and by other developing countries. LVPEI is also a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Prevention of Blindness.

In the past 22 years LVPEI has provided outpatient services to 4 million people and surgical care to over 400,000 patients ¯¿½ 50 percent of them free, regardless of complexity. The institute‚  has trained over 10,000 eye care personnel from India and abroad.

Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore

Established in 1918, Christian Medical College Hospital or CMC, a 1800-bed hospital located in the city of Vellore, Tamil Nadu, receives about 4500 patients everyday. Founded by Ida S. Scudder, CMC Hospital occupies a prominent place among the medical institutions in India. It’s a leading referral tertiary care hospital attending to the needs of the underprivileged. The hospital performs the maximum number of bone marrow transplantations in the country. As a pioneer in live liver transplantation, it has conducted 20 such transplantations so far. Also, it runs 50 telemedicine centres throughout the country.

CMC has been given a five star rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, an autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission, in recognition of its quality of medical education and health care. CMC has been categorized as a super-speciality teaching hospital of the highest quality and assigned the H1 grading by the Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency (ICRA) Ltd. The H1 grading implies that the institution has resources and processes consistent with those required to deliver the highest quality of care. At present, there are postgraduate diploma courses in 11 specialities and postgraduate degree courses in 35 specialities. This institution has been a pioneer in India in the development of higher specialities like cardiology, Thoracic Surgery, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Urology, Nephrology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology and Haematology.

Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai

Incepted in 1978, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, receives 1500 patients and performs about 120 surgeries a day. Sankara Nethralaya, run by Medical and Vision Research Foundation, has achieved distinction in providing state of art care in Vitreo Retinal diseases, Glaucoma, Keratoplasty, etc. The institution has introduced many innovative ophthalmic procedures for the first time in India. Likewise upgradation of instruments and equipments has kept the institution technologically in the forefront. Sankara Nethralaya has five campuses in Chennai. The hospital has 85 full time ophthalmologists working under one roof.

Of the 120 surgeries performed at the hospital in a day, 35 per cent are done free of cost. Of the free surgeries 20 per cent are for complicated conditions like Glaucoma, Corneal transplants, Paediatric and Vitreo-retinal surgeries. Each day over 40 patients are seen in the Contact lens clinic. Each day, over 250 special procedures like OCT, Yag Laser, Visual Fields etc are done at the hospital. Sankara Nethralaya has implemented rural teleophthalmology project which has also helped in increasing the awareness about eye care and eye diseases amongst the rural uneducated population.

Sankara Nethralaya is the first eye Hospital in Asia to get ISO 9001-2000 certification. The Hospital has obtained the re-certification from Bureau Veritas¯¿½ a certification in the fields of Quality, Health, Safety, Environment, and Social Responsibility (QHSE-SR). The Hospital has recently received NABL certification for its laboratory services. Vision Research Foundation, a sister organisation working in tandem with the Medical Research Foundation, started functioning from the main campus from 1983. The Vision Research Foundation does research in both clinical and basic sciences applicable to Ophthalmology and vision sciences. It is an institution of national importance according to the Dept. of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Kovai Medical Center, Coimbatore

Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH) is a 500-bed multi-disciplinary, super-specialty hospital located in Coimbatore. The hospital has more than 50 medical disciplines and over 1000 patients are treated every day at the hospital. KMCH is equipped with 11 operation theatres, and super-speciality procedures like open heart surgeries and other cardiac surgeries, kidney transplants, knee replacements, hip replacements and complex brain surgeries are done regularly at the hospital.

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KMCH is recognised for organ transplant programmes by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Several Kidney transplants and corneal transplants from live donors and cadavers have been done. KMCH also provides treatment of Stroke Management and Uterine Fibroids with the latest technique in Interventional procedures. The state-of-the¯¿½art fertility center at KMCH is well-equipped to do the Assisted Conception Program like IVF, ICSI.

There are four satellite centers attached to KMCH: City Center, Erode Center, Erode Speciality Hospital, and Perundurai Center. KMCH has a rural health center at Veeriampalayam to serve the rural community and the underprivileged.

KMCH in collaboration with the Rotary clubs of Coimbatore and Erode have 5 Trauma Care Centers, which operates round the clock and are equipped with wire-less, telephone and mobile phone facilities. In order to ensure immediate transportation of the patient from the accident spot, KMCH has an emergency control room facility, which operates round the clock to co-ordinate all Trauma Care Centers established by KMCH.‚ 

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