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‘Will make major investments in North India, Central Asia’


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NEW DELHI : Aakash Healthcare is in process of establishing Aakash Health Medicity in Uzbekistan at an investment of $100 million. The plan is to develop a tertiary care centre in 25 acres that will also have a medical education institution for doctors and nurses, said Dr. Aashish Chaudhry, managing director, Aakash Healthcare. In India, the hospital chain is close to acquiring hospitals in Noida, Delhi and Meerut, Chaudhry said in an interview. The company is also exploring ways to open its own medical college in India. Edited excerpts:

What is the plan to expand your footprint outside India?

Our immediate plan is to set up Aakash Health Medicity in the heart of Tashkent city. We have already done a memorandum of understanding with the Uzbekistan government, and they are providing us 25 acres land to develop a modern tertiary hospital with the latest infrastructure, medical equipment, skilled doctors and nursing staff. Aakash Health Medicity will also have medical colleges; for examples, nursing colleges. The project involves an investment of $100 million and almost 3,000 jobs will be created for Indian medical professionals in the country. Our plan is to provide medical services in Uzbek population in the country only, and if any patient who would want to travel outside, will have to get the NOC from us only if cannot operate them. Besides, this, we are exploring other markets in Bahrain, Mongolia and Fiji to establish our healthcare setup as a lot of international patients come to India from these countries.

What about expansion plans in India?

First of all, Delhi-NCR is the key area. Our target is to scale up our bed capacity to 1,000 beds in this region. Therefore, we are in an advanced stage of acquiring already running 300 bedded hospitals in Nodia, North & South Delhi and Meerut respectively. We are going to transform them with latest medical facilities, trained doctors and make these hospitals self-sustained by the end of this year and also add 100 more beds.

What do you think about government’s Heal in India programme?

We are awaiting government’s Heal in India platform to register ourselves​. This will stop middlemen and bring more transparency in the system.

Do you have any plan to establish medical colleges?

Establishing a medical college is a natural growth plan for any private hospital, especially if they have a background of education. The only challenge so far is the rules and regulations for infrastructure requirement to develop medical colleges, although the government has made some relaxations. Now, the challenge in India is that most of the doctors who are going to work as teachers/professors do not get time for clinical practice. In that case, we need to have staff, one for teaching and other one for treatment of patients. However, we are exploring and also evaluated a few existing medical colleges, one of them based in Ghaziabad having sustainability issues. In near future, we will come up with our own medical college.

Are you planning any new medical facility at your hospital?

We are setting up infrastructure to carry hand transplants at our hospital. Until now, Amrita Institute in south India has conducted hand transplants. Right now, government policy says that a recipient can get hand transplant done only when recipient’s both hands are amputated. In other countries, it is not so. Recently, we got two patients who were double amputees but due to complications, it could not be done. So, we have kept infrastructure ready and surgeons to conduct the procedure as retrieving the hand from cadaver is very challenging unlike other internal organs.

Source: livemint

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