Interaction on ambulance outsourcing business of Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd.
Manish Sacheti, CFO, Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd
How has emergency medical ambulance services changed the face of patient transportation in India?
Before a decade, there was no single ambulance service which could be called in case of medical emergencies. The sector was dominated by fragmented and small time private ambulances which could be called upon as they were more like hearse vans which were hardly equipped or hospital ambulances which offered services selectively in certain localities. From there to today, we have evolved a long way where states are integrating their ambulance services under one single number. Other states are moving towards replicating this model. However, India is taking steady steps to improve its ambulance services with the aim of saving more lives. The Government is introducing several schemes like `Integrated Ambulance Service’ to help bring about this much required change in patient transfer. Apart from this, better road infrastructure, use of technology, training the right talent etc. has improved the face of this sector. India has a long way to go to achieve minimum deaths caused due to lack of emergency services but we are surely moving towards a positive future. With the aid of the government and the willingness of private organizations to service the sector, there has been reduction in the number of deaths and increase in the reach of ambulances.
- What are the services that you offer under ambulance outsourcing service?
We have ambulance outsourcing operations in 15 states throughout India. Under this model, we provide fully-equipped ambulances staffed with trained paramedics and drivers to manage day-to-day fleet operations for hospitals and corporates so they, in turn, can focus on their core competencies. We help to transfer patients across hospitals, corporates, and highway projects. We provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances. . BLS ambulances are equipped with emergency kits, medicines and patient transport equipment. ALS ambulances also carry life-saving equipment including defibrillator, oxygen cylinder and electrocardiography (ECG) machine to handle critical emergencies like heart attacks, accidents, paralysis attack, etc. Our trained doctors and emergency medical technicians (EMT) are on board in each ambulance and administers First Aid and Basic Life Support techniques and other pre-hospital care to stabilize patients.
How long have you been in this business and which cities do you have your footprint in?
We have been in the medical emergency business for 12 years now and have ventured in the ambulance outsourcing business in 2010. We are present in 15 states across the length and breadth of the country. However, a high intensity of our work comes from metro cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata as compared to Tier II and Tier III cities. Our clients range from multi-national companies to reputed Hospitals and look forward to expand our outsourcing business to pan India.
- Can you explain the general business model for the outsourcing business of ambulances?
There has been tremendous economic development of the country over the years with a lot of MNCs coming to India. In order to concentrate on their competencies these MNCs and corporates reach out to experts like ZHL in order to take care of their emergency facilities need of their employees as part of their Human resource or corporate social responsibility. Also the other key segments like ss, private hospitals, factories and highway projects outsource the entire ambulance operations to us. ZHL provides advantage lies in the fact that we provide ambulance with trained paramedics/doctors and drivers who are available at all times in case of any medical emergencies. This helps them concentrate on their core competencies while experts like us take control of the ambulance support. Our expertise in the field and experience over 3000 ambulances enable ZHL to provide entire infrastructure, trained manpower and technology based service delivery to our clients. The revenue from this model depends on the service model which the client has opted for but we ensure commercially it is win win situation for both.
How do hospitals benefit by outsourcing their services to emergency medical service providers?
With the overall healthcare business growing at exponential rates, hospitals in India are feeling the pressure to prioritize on their core capability that is managing their patients and providing excellent treatments. Hence, hospitals associate with experts in Emergency Medical Sector (EMS) like us for ensuring effective transfer of patients in the presence of trained EMTs in an ambulance. A critical aspect of this is the timely availability of ambulances at the time of need. Hence if the ambulance remains idle it leads to an increase in the operations cost of the hospitals, also they have will have to invest in the training of paramedics increasing the costs further. Hence looking at this need, ZHL plays a pivotal role in saving people’s lives by using high end technology and processes in order to transfer patients to the hospitals efficiently. Transferring patients within the golden hour increases the chance of survival to a great extent and that is how we aid hospitals to start treatment so that no time is lost in managing the process of patient transfer.
How do you see the future of ambulance outsourcing in India growing in comparison to the
This industry has a very bright future in India as the outsourcing model proves to be beneficial for any industry as they can outsource services that are not their core competency. The case is similar with the medical and healthcare industry. Like Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd there are an increasing number of professional players coming in this business. Most of the corporates require dedicated ambulances stationed at their work place to provide immediate medical assistance to their employees in case of an emergency. The multinational companies and factories are looking for professional players like us for addressing any medical emergency for their employees. Hospitals, whose core competency is patient treatment, find it convenient to outsource their patient transfer service to an expert in the field. With the advent of air ambulances and speed boat ambulances this sector is poised to grow at a tremendous rate.
How do you plan to expand your offerings under this segment?
We focus on our existing clients to provide them our best of services so they can utilize the same in all other centers across India. Since we have been here for more than a decade now, our legacy and work speaks for us and brings us more business. Apart from this we have forayed into Dubai with Ziqitza Gulf Medical Response and Ambulance Service and we plan to extend this service to all GCC Nations – Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait. We are also looking at venturing into air ambulances and speed boat ambulances to cater to the relatively smaller markets in the interior areas of the cities.