In the last decade, most corporate healthcare models were developed keeping in mind the metro markets. The healthcare providers have now started realising that they cannot serve all segments of the population with high-cost structures. To serve different consumer segments such as lower middle income, urban poor and rural population, they need to develop less capital-intensive models.
One such relatively low-cost model is that of secondary care hospitals. These are mid-sized (100-150 bedded) hospitals offering upgraded secondary care and basic diagnostic and pharmacy facilities.
Such hospitals are are rightly positioned to cater to primary care and can be upgraded to incorporate some elements of tertiary care. They focus on specialties like general medicine, general surgery, OBG, orthopedics, ENT, pediatrics and trauma, ophthalmology, dental surgery, diabetology and critical care.
Typical area per bed is around 1000 sq ft, ALOS — 3 days, average revenue per bed — Rs 12,000, and more than 25 per cent patients are insured. Such hospitals are easily replicable, scalable, flexible, and more affordable.
Capital and overhead costs are lower than typical multi-specialty hospitals, workflows are standardised, operational management is easier, and outreach, penetration and patient loyalty higher.