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A get-well network

In a bid to integrate better with the city, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, which aims to become the largest referral hub in the region, is reaching out to practising doctors in Calcutta and its suburbs with a platform to upgrade.

The 325-bed multi-speciality hospital on the Bypass, a joint venture with Parkway Group Healthcare of Singapore, is drawing up a list of doctors plying their trade in and around the city, for a host of handholding services.

“We will give these doctors, culled from 14-15 major specialities and five or six minor ones, visiting privileges and joint admission privileges, like we do in our Colombo hospital,” S.K. Venkataraman, chief financial officer of Apollo Chennai, told Metro.

Besides getting acquainted with the critical pathways of the hospital, these doctors will also be free to participate in camps on special procedures. The hospital management felt this exercise will help create a “well-equipped” network of first-stop medical practitioners.

Preetha Reddy, managing director, Apollo Hospitals, said the tie-up with Gleneagles, of which Parkway is a holding company, will make the group’s Calcutta hospital its most valuable property in the country.

“We have expertise in people and professionals, and they (Parkway) have internationally-benchmarked clinical protocols. So, Calcutta will get the best of both worlds,” said Reddy.

The hospital, equipped with a 24-hour emergency service and specialities and superspecialities in around 55 disciplines, is planning a full-fledged opening in September.

Elaborating on the medical and nursing protocols Parkway is bringing to town, Joshua Goh, representative of the equal-partner Singapore firm and director of the city hospital, said: “Accountability is the key in our protocols and that is often missing when doctors hop from one hospital to another. What kind of a clinical feel do you get if your doctor only treats you by remote control'” he asked.

Stressing on the significance of the human element in healthcare delivery, Ramesh Sheshadhri, director, department of cardiovascular surgery, said: “No matter how many expensive gizmos you instal, it’s eventually the medical personnel who make the difference.” Sheshadhri, who does the maximum number of beating-heart surgeries in the country, has relocated from Chennai.

Apollo Gleneagles, which will set up superspeciality wings in neuro-surgery, hepatology, nephrology and oncology, is also planning a dedicated stroke clinic to deal with brain attacks on a stopwatch emergency basis. “Strokes are getting younger by the day, just like heart attacks, but for whatever reasons, it never gets similar exposure,” lamented the managing director.

Consolidation in Calcutta is also aimed at reaching out to the Northeast and neighbouring countries.

“We are gearing up to meet the growing demand for health tourism from countries like Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia. Calcutta was the obvious choice for the magic hub,” said Venkataraman.

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