With huge unmet demand for cancer care and rising cost of medication in India, HealthCare Global (HCG) Hospitals is coming up with a state-of-the-art hospital in Gurugram, which will work as a hub to service its ‘spoke’ hospitals in India and abroad. Housed over three acres, this centre will have a capacity of around 200 beds.
HCG runs on a hub-and-spoke model. Currently, it has one hub in Bengaluru, which is the headquarters of the oncology chain. The company is expecting the Gurugram project to be completed in six to eight months.
“Our hub-and-spoke model is meant to look at the pan-Indian picture to treat cancer patients. We already have a centre of excellence in Bengaluru, which is our first hub, providing back-end facilities such as telephysics, teleradiology, and digital pathology to patients admitted to our spoke hospitals located in tier-II and tier-III cities,” said HCG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr Ajaikumar.
This model has improved the margins of the hospital chain significantly, as it creates a centralised pool of pharma, with specialists not required at each of the 21 HCG centres. Also, 80 per cent the patients do not have to travel to the hub and can be treated sitting in the spoke hospitals.
According to Ajaikumar, this model has helped the health care chain to bring down the treatment cost at HCG by one-sixth as compared to that in the US. He, however, said India was at a difficult stage in health care as people were not measuring the outcome but cost of medical assistance. Hence, the company with half-yearly revenue of Rs 4.7 billion is now looking at international markets for its next phase of growth.
“We are trying to create a global footprint using India as a base. We will be soon coming up with HCG centres in Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Myanmar, and Nepal,” said the chairman.
In West Asia, HCG is looking at Abu Dhabi as a possible geography for expansion. The hospital chain, which is looking at doubling its revenue from international markets from 5 per cent in 2-3 years, is currently present in Kenya and Vietnam.
Originally incorporated in 1998 as Curie Centre of Oncology, the company renamed itself as HealthCare Global in 2006. Before going public in 2016, the firm was backed by investors such as Singapore’s Temasek and PremjiInvest. While PremjiInvest exited, Temasek holds 9 per cent stake in the hospital chain.