Apollo Hospitals, one of the largest private hospital chains in India, is setting up secondary and tertiary care facilities Karaikudi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Karimnagar and Chittoor.
This is part of Apollo Hospital’s programme to set up 3,000 beds across the rural areas of the country under the Apollo-Reach initiative.
Apollo-Reach initiative is aimed at by opening up hospitals in the rapidly emerging tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India.
“We are in the process of setting up hospitals in Karaikudi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Karimnagar and Chittoor, and plans of establishing more facilities across the country are already underway,”Dr Prathap C Reddy, chairman Apollo Hospitals has stated in reports.
According to him, setting up hospitals in rural or semi-urban areas is a rigorous, time-consuming procedure. however, Apollo’s experience in setting up hospitals across the country has helped the company accurately identify cities and towns that are in urgent need of healthcare facilities.
Apollo targets to have 50 Apollo-Reach hospitals in 5 years. The Hyderabad, south Indian company aims to increase the number of hospitals to 10 from the current three Apollo-Reach hospitals and the target by 2011.
Apollo is looking to invest Rs 1500 crore under its next phase of expansion slated between 2012-2014.
Apollo Hospitals is known for its pioneering Apollo Super Highway and the Apollo Telemedicine projects for improving patient care, enhance medical training, standardize clinical practice and stabilize costs.
India faces a serious constraint on healthcare resources due to shortage of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff as well as hospital infrastructure.
India has only 0.7 million doctors while the country’s requirement is 1.4 million, nursing population is 0.8 million, the required numbers are 2.5 million and paramedical staff needs to be increased from 2.5 million to 10 million. In this level India requires to double the number of human resources.
Figures suggest that currently there is one bed for 1,000 patients in India. In the US it is one bed for 250 patients and Japan is one bed for 80 patients. World Health Organization recommends one bed for 650 patients. Therefore India will require tens of thousands of additional beds to meet the demand gap.
Apollo plans to fund the rural hospital programme through a combination of internal accruals (25 per cent), private equity (25%) and from the stock market, reports said.