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www.expresshealthcare.in INSIGHT INTO THE BUSINESS OF HEALTHCARE
September 2007  
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Home - Cover Story - Article

Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi

Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi is the result of the dreams of three ambitious Swiss NRIs. When it started in 2000, with 150 beds, the hospital aimed at bringing healthcare of international standards to the state and the market just proved to be perfect that time. Today, the Hospital stands tall with 300 beds. "Healthcare at the primary and the secondary level was already excellent in Kerala. But in the tertiary level, Kerala faced severe deficiency for a long period of time. The people behind Lakeshore Hospital aimed to fill this deficiency," states Dr Philips Augustine, Medical Director.

Unique Appeal

"We have built a helipad at the top of the building to bring patients in critical stages from the airport"


- Dr Philips Augustine

Medical Director
Lakeshore

Lakeshore Hospital has a unique distinction of having air, water and surface ambulance services. This rare combination of facilities has placed the hospital in Limca Book of Records 2004. "The helipad at the top of the building serves to bring patients in critical stages from the airport. Water ambulance service is specially planned to cater to the small islands in and around Kochi," informs Dr Augustine.

The Hospital has an ultramodern 350-seater auditorium with facilities for live demonstration of operations and advanced endoscopic and interventional radiology procedures from various operation theatres and endoscopic suites. Lakeshore's ambulance is equipped for modern lifesaving emergency care. "Concerned specialities at the Hospital are alerted in advance to ensure immediate attention on the patient's arrival at the hospital," says Praveen Kumar, Administrator, Lakeshore.

Marketing Tourism

Lakeshore Hospital, like its many counterparts in Kerala, is now concentrating on medical tourism which is projected to be a $2.3 billion industry by 2012. "There is a steady increase in patient referrals from physicians and surgeons from far and wide. This indeed has encouraged us to venture into the upcoming area of medical tourism offering world-class healthcare at fraction of a cost to overseas patients," says Dr Augustine. In fact, Lakeshore is associated with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Department of Tourism. The Government of Kerala is spearheading this emerging global phenomenon.

The competition in Kochi to attract medical tourists is high with each hospital collectively offering almost all the high technology treatments that the health tourists will need. As health tourism gains momentum in the coming years, the existing hospitals are compelled to bring their professional and technological levels closer to international levels.

To stay ahead in the race, Lakeshore has many strategies and special packages in place especially in cardiology, neurology and urology. And its strategies seem to have worked. In 2003, Lakeshore provided inpatient treatment to patients from 10 countries. In 2004, the number of foreign inpatients had doubled and patient flow was from 17 countries and in 2005 the patient flow was from 22 countries and the patient total showed an increase of a whopping 75 per cent compared to 2004. Their foreign patient clientele is mainly from America, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kenya, Britain, Malaysia, Maldives, Australia, France, Italy, Sweden, Oman, Chile, Bahrain, Canada, Finland, Yemen, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Qatar, Libya and the Netherlands.

Also, the management feels it can't ignore the needs of the local population. "We are conscious about cost containment for the people of the state offering a 'slab system' for charges to make it affordable across the various sections of society," comments Dr Augustine. So, Lakeshore Charitable Trust has been registered and financial support would be offered to the poor sections of the society from this year onwards. MA Yousaf Ali, Chairman of the Hospital is personally spearheading this venture.

Achievements

In its short history of three-and-a-half years, Lakeshore has some creditable achievements, which include the first-ever live liver transplant in the state, the first bone marrow transplant in a child, the first insulin pump insertion in South India and the first liver dialysis in Kerala.

Future

Lakeshore wants to escalate and position itself as a brand meant for medical tourists in tandem with the local needs. "To ensure that the relationship is mutually beneficial we would provide world-class medical service to the customers, offer a single window operating system to our clients with priorities in consultation, procedure etc. Lakeshore is also offering specialised packages for foreign patients in cardiology, orthopaedics, dental, cosmetic surgery, minimal invasive surgery and other health check-up programmes," says Dr Augustine.

Lakeshore is thus striving hard to maintain a key balance between the locally global and globally local customers, who incidentally have both become demanding.

Compiled by Nancy Singh
healthcare@expressindia.com

 

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Copyright 2001: Indian Express Newspapers (Mumbai) Limited (Mumbai, India). All rights reserved throughout the world. This entire site is compiled in Mumbai by the Business Publications Division (BPD) of the Indian Express Newspapers (Mumbai) Limited. Site managed by BPD.