DHAKA: Apollo Hospitals, the leading super speciality hospital, is planning to establish a second hospital in Bangladesh, at the country’s port city Chittagong.
According to sources, the 300-bed project is expected to be on stream in two years. Bangladesh is a major consumer of healthcare facilities in India, especially in Kolkata.
The Indian healthcare major is also in discussion with the Bangladesh government to offer “expert medical opinion” through a network of Union Parishad or Panchayat-level multi-purpose tele-centres in the neighbouring country.
Beginning 2007, Bangladesh has set up an impressive network of 4,500 tele-centres run by local entrepreneurs, offering nearly 50 different public services. Nearly, 1,100 of such tele-centres are also used by banks to offer mobile banking facilities.
“We are talking to the Bangladesh government, to offer expert opinion services through tele-centres. Hopefully, we will be able to announce (the project) shortly,” Ms Sangita Reddy, Executive Director, Operations, Apollo Group of Hospitals, told the press, on the sidelines of the recently concluded World Marketing Summit at Dhaka. The premier chain currently has one hospital in the capital city.
According to Ms Reddy, Apollo Hospitals has participated in a similar tele-medicine initiative in 24 countries in Africa and runs 120 video conferencing hubs, mostly in India and a few in Mauritius, Maldives, parts of West Asia, Sri Lanka and others, to take healthcare to the patient`s doorstep.
The company is now aiming to extend the network of such “video-conferencing hubs” to 500 in next 25 months, so as to offer patients “high-end, speciality” opinion and advice.
Tele-medicine spares patients in far-flung areas from spending large amounts of money and time they can ill afford to lose in visiting speciality hospitals for consultations.
BDST: 1423 HRS, MAR 07, 2012
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