July 2014

Caring for Woman and Child for 50 Years

Dr Amita Phadnis

Dr Amita Phadnis,
Oyster and Pearl,

From a clinic to three 100-bed hospitals, Oyster and Pearl Hospitals journey has been inspiring. As it looks to venture into smaller towns, Dr Amita Phadnis, MD, Oyster and Pearl, talks to ENNs Nikita Narvekar about the journey so far

Please tell us in brief about Oyster and Pearl.

Oyster and Pearl Hospital was founded in September 2008, as a specialty hospital for woman and child.
We have been practising in the woman and child health segment for over 50 years “ since 1960. My father-in- law, Dr HN Phadnis was a gynaecologist and ran a clinic in Pune named Shree Clinic. My husband Dr Avinash and I took over in 1991, strengthened its in fertility and high risk obstetrics and established the first IVF unit in Pune and western Maharashtra in 1995.
We later established two other facilities in Pune “ Neo Clinic (tertiary level neonatal and paediatric care) and Sumati Health (womens wellness and Corporate Health).
Oyster and Pearl Hospital, a 100 bed boutique hospital, was a culmina- tion of the practices established at our three units.
Our logo signifies mother and child or parent and child. So, we began with woman and child and then added on other specialties, such as orthopaedics, specialty joint replacement, advanced spine surgery, onco surgery, bariatric surgery and many others. This helped in enhancing patient services and achieving good growth.
In 2010, we established an- other 100 bed facility in Pune, the ONP Tulip Hospital that again focussed on woman and child health.

How will ONP expand in 2014- 2015?

ONP Hospitals had launch another 100-bed hospital this year in June, the ONP Life Point Multispecialty Hospital at Wakad, with a dynamic, dedicated and devoted team of doctors.
This will increase our bed strength to 300 in Pune.
In the next phase, ONP Hospitals looks to expand in two directions “ towards smaller towns, such as Osmanabad and Ratnagiri, and towards larger cities, such as Mumbai, hence targeting 500 beds by late 2015. We would plan to go asset light at all other facilities.

What are the initiatives you have taken in medical education and training?

We have not entered the medical education sector and as of now have no plans.

What latest equipment you have accquired for diagnostics and treatment?

We invest in equipments that enhance patient safety and continue to better our results
For example, we have recently started using Home NST machines to monitor high risk pregnancies. We will be adding an embryoscope in order to further improve IVF results.
Bone scalpels used in spine surgery improves patient safety, since the bone is cut with extreme precision and reduces the chances of nerve injuries.
Keyhole surgeries or minimally invasive surgeries involve the use of endoscope and lasers in spine surgery.
Hand reconstruction for congenital defects is being done at ONP with use of micro vascular reconstruction and nerve surgery example toe transfer for absent thumb.
In joint surgery, ACI (autologous chondrocyte implantation) is being done, as well as a large number of routine/complicated revisions joint replacements.
In neonatal care, we will soon be adding a bodycooling equipment, which will help achieve hypothermia in neonates with brain related injuries. This will help improve the long term outcome for these babies.

Do you have any collaboration and accreditation strategies?

Now that we are well established, we have initiated the accreditation processes. In terms of collaboration, we will be outsourcing our Dialysis sector very soon.
We had a charitable joint venture with the Pune Municipal Corporation for 7 years, providing maternity services on a completely charitable basis.

What are your expectations from the new government?

All of us are aware that there is a huge gap in providing healthcare service to the masses in India. The doctor- patient ratios in the urban and rural sectors are dismal.
Healthcare should be treated on urgent and priority basis in both public and private sectors.
Healthcare budget in the public health sector should be increased. Needless to say that only increasing expenditure on healthcare is useless unless appropriate utilization of funds to truly provide healthcare is ensured at the micro level. That is the key.In the private health sector, the biggest cost is real estate and infrastructure maintenance. The private sector hospitals should be given a higher FSI and lower electricity and water tariffs and health care should be given a reduced tax structure. This will allow the private sector to pro vide cheaper healthcare. If the private health sector is given an economic boost, it will go a long way in increasing the reach of health care to the lower socio-economic sections.
Health Insurance is creeping in slowly, but surely and government policies on the same should be fine tuned. Insurance companies will soon rule the economics of the private sector health care and unless the financials of the same are regulated, the private sector will find viability difficult because the margins of the insurance packages are very low.

“ONP Hospitals looks to expand in two directions “ towards smaller towns, such as Osmanabad and Ratnagiri, and towards larger cities, such as Mumbai, hence targeting 500 beds by late 2015”


How do you look upon the opportunities in Tier II and Tier III cities?

The scope is tremendous, but offering low cost health care is the key.
The challenge is to manage an en- terprise from a distance and to be successful with that. Local deployment of the entire team of doctors, nurses and other manpower is the key with, superspecialty support provided periodically. Healthcare sector establishment and break even takes at least three years and when we set out, it is important to make the financial plan accordingly. Equity investors in healthcare need to keep a long term horizon in mind. Short term yields are poor and then there is disappointment.

What are your initiatives in terms of IT into health industry?

Over 10 years ago, we developed our own healthcare software labelled LeelaMed.
Initial versions were developed for infertility; but, now it has evolved into complete health care software.

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