State-of-the-art medical infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, an outstanding pool of specialists and highest standard of affordable therapy — if this is healthcare utopia, Ranchi will find it soon.
A bevy of reputable private players is all set to make forays into the medical sector, gifting the capital — hitherto dependent on state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for quality and pocket-friendly treatment — a bouquet of multi-specialty, super-specialty and multi-super-specialty hospitals by the end of 2012.
Eminent cardiac surgeon of the country Dr Naresh Trehan, whose Medanta in Gurgaon offers global healthcare standards along with clinical research, innovation and education, is learnt to have evinced interest in opening a wing of the much-touted medicity in Ranchi. If sources are to be believed, he is already holding talks with the state government for land in the capital.
Another multi-speciality hospital is on the anvil, courtesy city-based businessman Amit Sahu. He has promised the best of healthcare at his upcoming Santevita Hospital by mid-2012.
Unconfirmed reports also said that St John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, is planning a medical college in the capital, while Calcutta-based Medica super-specialty hospital has Ranchi in mind as part of its 2012 expansion plans, which will see as many as 10 of its centres across eastern India.
A week ago, big name in cardiac care Fortis Escorts Heart Institute launched its unit in the city in association with Alam Hospital and Research Centre.
Orchid Medical Centre, owned by a city-based builder, came up six months ago. And, in the last couple of years, several other health hubs like Apollo Hospital and Rani Children's Hospital have set shop in the capital.
Undoubtedly, Ranchi is witnessing a medicare boom. The question is why?
"Though Ranchi has been the capital of Jharkhand since the state was created over a decade ago, it has been only two-three years that the city is experiencing a sudden influx of people. Reasons are many. Mushrooming malls and food joints are creating employment opportunities like never before. More the people, greater the need for health services. It is but natural for the health sector to cash in on the change," said Subir Roy, the chief medical officer of Orchid.
Roy maintained that there had always been a demand for investment in the sector, but investors were hard to find. "Ever since we opened our centre, the OPD has remained crowded almost every day. This explains the urgent need for a good specialty hospital," he said.
"Dearth of decent state hospitals and medical colleges is another reason behind private players entering the fray. In days to come, we are going to see private medical colleges like in Bangalore and more specialised hospitals," he added.
Every investment is market-oriented. So, another viable theory is that since metros are now saturated, private players are focusing on tier-II and tier-III cities and towns.
"This is why almost everyone is vying for places like Ranchi, where the scope of investment in healthcare is immense given the government's failure in delivering services right from primary health centres to hospitals," said Gaurav Roy, deputy manager, Santevita Hospital.
Innovation will be the key at this 80-bed health hub, he said. "Multi-specialty/super-specialty centres are the need of the hour. Except cardiac care, we will have almost every discipline. Our USP will be a separate maternity wing with stress on normal delivery. We will have experts from Sweden," he added.
Irrespective of age, sex or geographical location, everyone faces health problems because of changing lifestyle these days. This again is prompting investors to reach out to people everywhere.
"Till recently, Kolkata was the nearest option for good and budget health services. The financially fortunate could look up to Delhi and Mumbai. But travelling, accommodation etc. took a toll on both the body and mind. Now, things will be different. What you need, we will make it available in your city and state," said Tabassum Hassan, the CEO of Alam Hospital and Research Centre.
With private players promising so much, the government too is feeling the need for upgrade. A testimony to this is the sadar hospital's 500-bed expansion plan to ease pressure on RIMS. Though the pace of work is tardy, officials offer that once completed the revamped hospital will "certainly help address healthcare needs of the downtrodden in a holistic manner". source-telegraphindia.com