Healthcare has become totally valuation game- Dr. Alok Roy
Q1. Congratulations for excellent 2019, please let us know your key achievements in 2019.
We are the largest chain in the eastern India with 7 large hospitals across Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand and multiple smaller units in the same terrain. Our biggest achievements have been providing tertiary care in these regions and we have significantly impacted the reduction in numbers of patients going to south and north India. We have established acute care in hinterlands of Eastern India and saved multiple lives by providing acute care at their door steps.
Our low cost model has made patients save significant money both in healthcare delivery and travelling, besides getting treatment at the place of their livelihood.
We have very proactively supported low cost treatment sponsored by both Central and various State Governments, sometime at the serious cost to us.
Q2. Please share few disappointments in 2019.
There were slews of disappointments, starting from multiple rate controls, politicisation of healthcare delivery, and lack of improvement in rates for various Govt schemes, these have made the schemes very unattractive for private players.
Public anger against the doctors and institutions where Govt has failed to curb the same and has not been able to pass ordinance to protect healthcare delivery personnel’s.
Govt wants us to lower the rates but Govt has not reduced duty on import of essential equipment’s which are not manufactured in India.
Getting hospital recognition through income tax is very tedious process for the treatment of corporate patients.
Insurance providers / Corp-orates are exercising unusual controls, which augurs poor profitability in an already depressed market.
Q3. Key challenges to overcome in 2020.
Economic downturn is going to be difficult to navigate.
Changing political scenarios are putting enormous pressure on healthcare delivery, especially due to strained centre and state relationships, many Govt schemes may not play out uniformly.
Current turmoil will put foreign travelers divert away from India to choose quieter countries. This will negatively impact medical tourism.
Q4. Way Forward for 2020
Control cost, expenses and brace for changes going forward. Medica has huge expansion plans, which are going to be very demanding and challenging given the scenario across the country.
Q5. Message for Healthcare Industry Stakeholders
Stay put firmly on saddle, healthcare has become totally valuation game, hence cost control and aligning with other providers across similar and distant regions are rather urgent and must be expedited to survive and continue to attract investment.