Buoyed by the growth it witnessed across it clinics, Asia Healthcare Holdings (AHH), the single speciality healthcare delivery platform backed by TPG Growth, is now planning to make more investments in single-specialty institutions that focus on nephrology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology among others.
Contrary to popular perception those elective procedures like motherhood, In vitro fertilization (IVF) etc have not taken a beating at AHH-backed single specialty clinics. In fact, enterprises like maternity and children hospital chain Motherhood Women and Children’s Hospital have grown in 2020-21 as several clinicians opted to do their clinical work in a single specialty hospitals rather than send vulnerable patients to multi-specialty hospitals.
Vishal Bali, executive chairman, AHH and also senior advisor of TPG Growth explained: “People tend to think that single specialty set-ups are not clinically intensive. We decided to make our clinic chains adhere to high standards of clinical, safety and even accreditation protocols.”
He adds, “When the pandemic hit last year, we saw Motherhood actually grow rather than de-grow. FY21 is one of the best years for Motherhood's range of hospitals and reason being the doctors found the safety standards of Motherhood far ahead of several other institutions that they were attached with. Many of them started doing their clinical work at Motherhood hospitals.”
Motherhood, where AHH invested in FY17, grew by 21 per cent in FY21 – a pandemic hit year compared to a 19 percent year on year growth in FY20. From three hospitals in Bangalore in FY17 and annual turnover of $5 million, the chain has now grown to 12 hospitals and revenues of $39 million.
National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH), a constituent board of Quality Council of India set up to establish and operate accreditation programmes for healthcare organizations, requires institutions to have around 380 quality check-points. “In comparison, in Motherhood we have developed over 780 quality check points,” Bali claims.
Another AHH investment Nova IVF Fertility grew from 19 centers to 50 centers in two years, despite the pandemic. It performs more than 1200 IVF cycles and 3500 new couples start their parenthood journey every month despite the Covid-19 pandemic, AHH claimed.
Bali thus says that this proposition of having single specialty clinic chains is unique and the Indian healthcare ecosystem offers enough opportunities for this. “We are now looking to make more similar investments in the area of nephrology, gastroenterology and ophthalmology. Even diagnostics can be an area we could look at,” he says.
AHH has already invested close to $200 million in India.
It was launched in India in 2016 with the acquisition of Cancer Treatment Services International (CTSI) for $38 million. In 2019 US-based Varian Medical Systems acquired CTSI for $283 million. By then the chain had grown from just two cancer hospitals to eleven hospitals with a pipeline of six more.
The Motherhood hospitals came to AHH in 2016 when it picked up a majority stake in Rhea Healthcare. Nova IVF was acquired in 2019, a loss making entity then. It turned profitable in six months and will become a 50 IVF centre chain this fiscal.