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Taking clinical wing in the east

A year after its soft launch in the city, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals will be formally unveiled to the people of Calcutta on November 20. Vice-president Bhairon Singh Sekhawat will inaugurate the 325-bed multiple-speciality hospital on the EM Bypass in the presence of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Apollo Hospitals Group chairman Prathap C. Reddy, officials from the Singapore collaborators, the Parkway Group, and other dignitaries.

The Calcutta hospital is the Apollo Group’s first joint-venture project with an overseas partner, and both the stakeholders are keen to convert it into a regional hub of excellence so that it can also reach out to neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.

“Our aim is always to provide something extra in every hospital we develop, and Calcutta will soon have the country’s most sophisticated hepatology department, incorporating the latest advancements both in skill and technology,” Reddy told Metro on Thursday. One of the “world’s leading liver specialists” from the UK will join the group to head the department.

Apollo has already applied for licence to build a separate 10-floor block to house a super-speciality oncology wing and a nursing college. “Once we get the clearance, the wing can come up in nine months,” the chairman added. The city hospital already operates in a clutch of super-specialities like nuclear medicine, neuro-physiology, endocrinology, serology, immuno-serology and microbiology.

Reddy said the group has also tied up with Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, for collaborative cardiac surgery programmes, particularly in minimally invasive procedures. The “pioneer” of minimally invasive and beating-heart surgery, Valavanur A. Subramanian, director of cardiac surgery at the New York hospital, is in town to perform a string of procedures at Apollo Gleneagles and conduct a two-day workshop on Thursday and Friday.

Speaking on the full-fledged launch in November, Joshua M. Goh, a director of the city hospital and representative of the Singapore partner, said: “We are very excited that the joint-venture project is coming to fruition. It has been a cross-learning experience for both the parties this past one year. We are happy to be able to contribute and bring our experience in the Far East to bear.”

Goh hoped Parkway’s “keen sense of efficiency” and Apollo’s commitment “to touch lives” can complement each other perfectly to create a centre of excellence, “where you get the best of both worlds”.

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