Medanta, India’s largest medicity spread over 43 acres in Gurgaon’s Sector 38, opened its doors to patients last week with the commissioning of 100 beds, including 30 in critical care.
Within a day of its quiet launch, the Rs. 1,000-crore hospital — promoted by cardiac surgeon Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman, Global Healthcare Ltd — had 50 per cent surgical occupancy for 70 beds, including two patients from the US who got knee replacement surgeries done.
“The popular perception is it is a five-star hospital, but the reverse is true. The economies of scale allow us to offer cutting-edge healthcare at affordable prices, which is why our packages are priced 15-20 per cent lower than hospitals in Delhi,” said cardiac surgeon Dr Trehan.
Bypass surgery, for example, is priced at Rs. 2 lakh (Rs 200,000) in a private room at Medanta, compared with Rs. 2.3 lakh (Rs 230,000) to Rs. 2.5 lakh (Rs 250,000) in most private hospitals in the Capital.
By December 15, 600 beds will be available.
“Each year, 5 per cent of all surgeries will be free and 15 per cent subsidised. The Medanta Foundation has been set up to raise funds for patients who cannot afford treatment,” said Dr Trehan.
The future is here
The 14-storey hospital is expected to become fully functional in May 2010. It will have1,600 beds — 1250 normal and 350 critical care beds — 45 operating theatres, over 1,000 doctors, 20 super-specialties and 48 clinical specialties.
Medanta has acquired Rs. 300-crore worth of technology, including the Brain Suite for neurosurgery, Da Vinci robotic system for minimally invasive procedures of the heart, prostrate, gynaecology and gastroenterology; Synergy-S radiation system for treating cancer tumours and lesions; a 256-slice CT (computed tomography) scanner for 3-D imaging; a molecular MRI (magnetic resonant imaging), among others.
A unique feature will be the Department of Preventive Medicine, which will integrate Indian systems with Western medicine to offer mind-body solutions for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, rheumatism, epilepsy etc.
“To make it successful, committed and competent doctors, medical staff and caregivers are needed. It’s the caregivers that make hospitals successful, and if Dr Trehan gets them there. I don’t see how it will not succeed,” said Dr D. K. Sharma, medical superintendent, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India’s biggest government hospital.
Five departments —orthopaedics, neurology, oncology, ENT (ear-nose-throat) and reconstructive and plastic surgery, and anaesthesia — have are currently functional, with the Heart Command Centre scheduled to open this week.
Getting what they want
Patiala cloth merchant Kuldeep Singh (55) did not know that when he headed to Gurgaon from Patiala. He arrived at Medanta on Friday clutching a newspaper clipping with a photograph of Trehan and the new hospital.
“I was diagnosed with heart disease two months ago, but was not satisfied with the conflicting advice given by doctors in Punjab. Then I read about this new hospital started by a famous heart surgeon, I decided this was the place for me,” said Singh, who is here with wife Balbir Kaur (48).
The earliest date he can get for heart bypass surgery is December 1, but the Singhs would rather wait than find another surgeon.
Unlike him, US-resident Michael Holloway (55), did a lot of online research before arriving in India for his double-knee replacement surgery, which was done by orthopaedic surgeon Dr Ashok Rajgopal.
“I love my new knees, they are beautiful. So is the cost. The surgery cost me US$20,000 here, compared to US$100,000 in the US,” said Holloway, who owns a welding shop in Colorado.
He spent US$24,000 on his treatment, including his three-week stay and travel. “I even made a trip to Agra to see the Taj. The insurance would have anyway covered 80 per cent cost of surgery, so even if I was covered, I would have spent as much,” he said.