I look back nearly 35 years to when we initially set out to build the first corporate hospital, and then to the journey thereafter, in nurturing it into the world-class healthcare institution it has grown into today.Our motivation for the pursuit of my goals has not wavered a bit through this eventful and challenging journey. We have remained relentless during all this time in putting the patient at the core of all that we do, and bringing to them differentiated and loving care to alleviate the pain of illness and keep them well. Then, as now, we remain equally single minded in wanting to bridge the huge demand supply gap in India for quality hospitals and patient focused healthcare.
Rising challenges posed by Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, heart disease and cancers, drive us to strive even harder each day. Our country is facing a huge threat in the form of NCDs. Current analyses suggest that by 2020, as many as 300 million people will be at risk of dying from NCDs in India. Diabetes, largely brought on by lifestyle, is the single largest healthcare burden, accounting for nearly 69 million diabetics and claiming more than a million lives a year. In addition, India houses the second largest population of smokers in the world. Tobacco kills one million Indians annually, more than tuberculosis, HIV/ AIDS and malaria combined. As a country, it is now time to go to war against NCDs.
The Government ‘s adoption of the pathbreaking National Health Policy, is a good step towards providing its citizens primary healthcare. Additionally, the government’s move to convert its 150,000 PHCs to Health and Wellness Centers that will offer a more comprehensive package of services, marks a pivotal shift towards preventive healthcare and reaffirms what we at Apollo have always been saying - keeping a nation’s citizens healthy, helps the country realize their full potential. The just announced Ayushman Bharat initiative will widen healthcare access to millions of under-served families, and will serve as an inflection point in the healthcare journey for the nation.
We are a pioneer in Public-Private Partnership and look forward to working with the Government as they roll-out the programme, helping to ensure that the highest quality care reaches underserved citizens on a sustained basis.
Our 300 clinicians in our various cardiac centres across the country, have performed 10,000 heart surgeries this year. We have preventive health checks which can diagnose cardiac problems before they develop into a serious heart condition. We want to educate people to ‘Act Before the Attack’. Our solid organ transplant centre is the busiest in the world. Our 35 transplant surgeons across the network have performed 1,500 transplants in FY18, of which 904 were kidney transplants.
In putting the patient first in our strategy, we have made substantial investments to set up leading edge Cancer Centers with expert physicians and the latest technologies for treating cancer, one of the most crucial among NCDs. Our ‘Proton Treatment Centre’, a cancer treatment and research facility in Chennai, will be operational soon. This facility will give patients access to cutting-edge Proton Beam Therapy, an advanced organ specific radiation treatment for removing malignant tumors from the head, neck, brain, pancreas, and prostate.
Our clinical excellence, marked by our quality processes and patient safety practices, and on-going commitment to innovation - the lifeline of any business, have not only helped us make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable, but have placed us on the cutting edge of healthcare delivery, affording us several differentiators in our various Centers of Excellence.
For any hospital to render uncompromised care to its patients, continuous improvement in service delivery is a must. To me, this is non-negotiable. We have over the years, determinedly and consistently invested inthe latest technologies and sophisticated systems. This enables our doctor fraternity to harness the best treatment options for our patients - similar to those available elsewhere in the world. Today, I take pride that Apollo Hospitals is on par with leading international healthcare institutions. We provide world-class healthcare at significantly lower prices while producing clinical outcomes that are better or on par with them. The key to this success has been our consistent and on-going dedication to patient satisfaction and need based healthcare services. We strongly believe that it is not enough to merely treat our patients’ diseases, but that it is important to first treat them as human beings, with care and respect. This is the foremost reason generation after generation our patients come back to us, honoring us with their trust. It is this sort of patient relationship that we work hard to nurture by putting the patient first in our business strategy.
To purposefully deliver healthcare in a country of more than a billion people, it is necessary to build a robust system that can serve both the urban and rural areas. This requires specialty hospitals, clinics, primary health care centers, and remote health care services where technology can be leveraged most optimally for the patients. We have to challenge traditional ways of rendering care and instead use disruptive technology to scale reach and reduce costs. For example, technology enabled home health care must be leveraged to free up scarce beds, speed up recovery and reduce cost.
Business is not just about profit but also about giving back to and serving the community. Apollo Hospitals has championed social causes with initiatives like Save a Child’s Heart, which provides quality pediatric cardiac care to children from underprivileged sections of society, Society to Aid the Hearing Impaired, and the CURE Foundation focused on cancer care assist for children from financially challenged homes.
India is counted among the world’s fastest growing economies. In health care, we are con-stantly pushing boundaries by sharing and collaborating to improve patient experience, trans-forming care delivery through telemedicine and optimized protocols, digitalizing and democra-tizing health through mobile solutions and telemedicine, and working with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to develop India-specific patterns for disease detection and cure.
As a nation, let us be committed to the health and well-being of our people. ‘Health for All’ demands that we ensure universal health insurance coverage, put in place comprehensive programs for preventive health, and continue building world-class infrastructure. We should also implement technology-enabled access and build strong health care skills. Above all, we need to focus on empowering the individual to take charge of his own health, and be responsible for his well-being. The right combination of all of the above is the perfect prescription for a healthy India.
It is our strong belief that we have built a well diversified and responsive business model, which has borne out in even in a challenging and changing external environment. We have made internal changes as needed, to position ourselves strongly so as to leverage local demand, the roll-out of NHPS and the increasing numbers of medical value travelers. We remain quietly confident about our prospects in the quarters to come.
I thank my Apollo family - doctors, consultants, and staff who have made this journey successful. And I thank all our stakeholders, especially you, our investors, for the faith and trust you have reposed in us and for the continuing support you have shown us over the years. I look forward to that support as we keep pressing forward on our journey.
I wish you and your families much good health,
With warm personal regards,
Dr. Prathap C Reddy
Apollo Hospitals Group