The Wockhardt Hospitals Group is planning expansion of its super-speciality hospital chain with a 280-bed hospital in Delhi, and bigger units in Kolkata and Bangalore.//
"We have embarked on the construction of a new hospital at Pitampura (in west Delhi) which would be ready by 2007-end. We also plan Greenfield projects in Bangalore and Kolkata," Vishal Bali, the chain's vice president, told IANS.
Unlike the existing 110-bed cardiac care hospital in Bangalore, the second hospital will be a 400-bed unit focusing on cardiology, orthopaedics, neuro-surgery and women's health.
The construction of the new hospital is to be completed by March 2006.
The second hospital in Kolkata will be a 275-bed facility, bigger than the existing 120-bed hospital.
Apart from the three new hospitals, the pharma and biotech major Wockhardt group is looking at second rung cities like Nagpur where it acquired a 100-bed hospital to turn it around into the only super-speciality cardiac care hospital in the vicinity.
Over the next two to three years, the Wockhardt group plans to invest Rs.5 billion ($110 million) in setting up the three hospitals while exploring opportunities in other cities.
"Our target is to create community-centric hospitals which we hope would be acceptable and beneficial to the community," said Bali.
"We have already proved this in Mumbai, where the advent of Wockhardt Hospital has seen a 25 percent dip in the cost of cardiac vascular surgery," Bali told IANS.
An associate hospital of the Harvard Medical International, the Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai received the coveted accreditation from the US-based Joint Commission International (JCI) in October for a more transparent system of patient care.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi is the only other hospital in the country to have received the JCI accreditation.
Even as Wockhardt's Mumbai hospital
is attracting a large number of overseas patients for cardiac, neuro and orthopaedic surgeries, its state-of-the-art facilities are also luring many Indian doctors settled abroad to look back home for promising career moves, said Bali.
"There is an increasing interest among internationally known clinicians to come back to work in India. More than a dozen have come back to work full time for us," said Bali, denying they are getting any extra allowances for relocation.
"We are focusing only on the niche area life saving medicine procedures and offer high-end surgeries mainly in coronary, neuroscience and orthopaedics," he said.
Though it seeks to attract overseas patients, Bali said the hospital group would reach out to the community within the country through its outreach and preventive medicine programme in tie up with primary and secondary healthcare service providers and private hospitals.
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