Having worked with hospitals across India, Dr. Sandeep Chatrath, received the Best CEO of the country award, post which he became Apollo’s Regional CEO for the three states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha. This month, he shares with us about his experience in healthcare, the gaps that exist, charted growth of the newly opened state-of-the-art Apollo Hospitals at Arilova and his vision for the city.
Even though he has been in the city for only six months, the city has grown on him, “Vizag is beautiful, and I feel that many people don’t know how scenic it is. In fact, it is so beautiful that a person would be half cured, just by stepping into the city. Though it is often promoted for industrial tourism, I think it has immense potential for medical tourism too. It is home to good medical talent, is strategically located and very well connected. I’ve been here for only the past six months, and already like the place very much.” He goes on to add that though the city has a lot of potential, there are gaps that need to addressed; specifically failings in the infrastructure. “The city has plenty of small nursing home practices, which cannot afford to frequently upgrade their technology as it is a cost-intensive process. As introducing the latest equipment and techniques is not a priority; doctors opt to practice in other cities and countries. Another gap I see is in affordability. There is a sizeable working-class populace in the city, making for a cost-sensitive belt which seeks affordable super speciality health care and trauma care facilities, which is often not available.” Speaking about the association between the Apollo brand and Vizag city he says, “The Apollo brand has been associated with Vizag since 1999, when we set up our hospital at Ramnagar. Supplementing the expertise in the areas of Cardiology and Nephrology at Ramnagar, we opened new premises on April 30, 2016, at Arilova Health City, with more super specialities in healthcare spread over a ten acre campus. This facility brings within accessible distance state-of-the-art technology and expertise to the entire coastal belt.”
With the growing number of health issues today, people need insurance more than ever before. In fact I’d say that people should consider it as the fourth basic need: Food, clothes, shelter and insurance.
Elaborating on the need and importance of technology upgrades in the medical field, he comments that upgrades allow doctors to provide better healthcare to patients and in many cases reduce the length of hospital stay. “Better technology also makes invasive procedures non invasive and gives accurate results. Furthermore, when hospital stay is reduced, healthcare becomes affordable as well”, he explains. Regarding the rising cost of health care, Dr. Sandeep attributes that to many factors, including the reluctance of patients to visit a doctor till it is too late. And to offset the higher costs, he advocates the need for medical insurance; “With the growing number of health issues today, people need insurance more than ever before. Without health insurance, patients end up paying higher costs for healthcare. In fact I’d say that people should consider it as the fourth basic need: Food, clothes, shelter and insurance. That can really help address healthcare costs.”
Concluding with a message, he stresses that prevention is always better than cure. “My message to people is to get regular health checks done and to keep a tab on their health. I suggest that they also take health insurance. Thirdly, today the number of lifestyle diseases is on the rise because of unhealthy food and living. These lead to stress and cause diabetes, blood pressure and heart ailments. Eat healthy, go green, get exercise and cut down on unhealthy habits for a better quality of life.”
Established in tune with the vision of its founder Dr. Prathap C Reddy towards international standard of healthcare, the Apollo Hospitals brings 360 degree healthcare through checkups, consultation, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. As a 250 bedded facility with 80 beds in critical care, it will provide healthcare by focusing on eight centres of excellence in Cardiology, Nephrology, Neurology, Organ Transplantation, Orthopaedics, Urology, Gastroenterology and Trauma. It also brings in a seven-star infrastructure, a strong team of doctors and top-of-the-line equipment that include 4D Echo, Digital Mammography tools, latest CT scanner, non invasive angiography, latest MRI scanner, a fully-automated laboratory and even the first of its kind cyber knife. At 65 hospitals and 2200 pharmacies across Asia, many clinics and even a presence in health insurance, Apollo is Asia’s no.1 right now. With its focus on Trauma, Apollo is now poised to launch a Stroke Unit, conducting liver transplantation and adding 150 beds for cancer treatment.