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Firming up rural health care hubs

Highlighting the co?s strengths, Ashok Kumar, MD of HSCC spoke to M Rajendran about future of health care consultancy in India.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 12:36 IST

Hospital services Consultancy Corporation (India) Ltd, set up in 1983, has emerged as a major consultancy player in the health sector and is all set to take on the challenge of private players entering this sector. Highlighting the company’s strengths, Ashok Kumar, chairman and managing director of HSCC spoke to M Rajendran about future of health care consultancy in India.

India is emerging as an important destination for medical tourism. What role do you see for HSCC?

We have adequate human resources to meet the growth of medical tourism. But we also need to build supporting infrastructure like good airports and hotels. In addition, we have to upgrade our health care facilities, get accreditation of the facilities and introduce health insurance system. Our role will be crucial in upgrading the existing heath infrastructure. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with ICRA, the rating agency, to help existing hospital to get the rating and also to provide them with studies to develop and improve their infrastructure. HSCC has expertise in this area.

The government is keen to improve health care system in rural areas. Do you have the necessary resources to help government in this initiative?

We have enough expertise in the study of projects for health care infrastructure and we are supporting them in National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). HSCC has projects with government in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that involves conducting survey, preparing the report for upgrading their health care facilities especially amongst the first referral units (FIUs).

All the 70 districts in Uttar Pradesh have been covered under the NRHM and in the second phase we will cover Bihar. Our consultancy work also involves suggesting ways to improve and upgrade of equipment, buildings and their health care systems. So you feel that there is a great future in India for consultancy in health care and its allied infrastructure.

The concept of medical consultancy is taking shape in a big way in India. But it is only at the corporate level that they have started to utilise it and are hiring foreign consultants. I feel that in next few years consultancy in medical and its related areas will grow tremendously particularly when government and private hospitals aim to provide better health care infrastructure and access to health care close to the habitation, both in small towns and rural areas.

Do you feel the private competitors in heath care consultancy are a big challenge to HSCC?

They are already there in a big way. There is a demand for consultancy in health care, but then they are not operating in social sector.

We are not providing consultancy to the medical part of health care. What is your strength to take on competition?

We provide total infrastructure health care consultancy under one roof. We have more than 100 engineers, bio-medical, civil and mechanical experts, economists, public health care professionals and doctors underone roof. We provide a well analysed, researched and thought out consultancy to our clients.

First Published: Mar 02, 2006 12:36 IST