My colleagues Beryl Menezes co-authored this story appearing in DNA Money edition on Monday, Feb 25, 2013.
Medanta - The Medicity, the multi-super specialty hospital chain, is working on a healthcare delivery model that could be made cost-efficient at all levels – village, mid-, secondary care and super-specialty – with a little tweaking.
Dr Naresh Trehan (pictured), chairman and managing director, Medanta, said that the company is conducting a pilot in Haryana, which, if successful, could be replicated based on its efficiency and economics.
“We are experimenting with it in Jhajjar, Haryana. We already have working models in place and will take a year or so to do the analysis,” said Trehan, who was recently awarded Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 in the startup category.
On the potential of mobile healthcare in the country, Trehan said it could become very huge, going forward.
“IT-based, tele-medicine and mobile health will be the most vital links from ground up. In fact, we have already partnered with Airtel to offer tele-medicine services and will soon be getting into mobile tele-medicine,” he said.
Medanta has been treating 100,000 patients for free in some of the villages every year and is now expecting to connect patients in these villages through tele-medicine to the hospital’s centres for quick diagnostics, early detection, preventive measures and treatments.
While the healthcare delivery model has been self-funded at this stage, the company management will eventually have to look at other funding options once it has been perfected and reaches a particular scale.
Talking about the challenges in the healthcare industry, Trehan said the sector is stressed as human capital cost is on the rise and people want their inflation costs covered.
“As a result, efficiencies of scale will have to kick in,” he said.
To reduce disease burden, Trehan suggests providing five things to every village – clean drinking water, sanitation, garbage disposal, mosquito control and school.
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