Medica is the new star in the health sector of West Bengal. It is growing fast in the eastern region with 11 running hospitals in different states of this region. It is planning to expand further bringing quality healthcare to the masses. Dr. Alok Roy, Chairman, Medica Group, spoke to BE’s Anustup Roy Barman about the healthcare sector and Medica’s plans.
Q. How did MEDICA start?
A.Beginning its journey with Medica North Bengal Clinic (MNBC) in Siliguri in 2008. The MEDICA Group launched its flagship Hospital – MedicaSuperspecialty Hospital (MSH) – in Kolkata in 2010. Soon after Medica Cancer Hospital in Rangapani, Siliguri, fulfilled the dire need of a comprehensive cancer facility in North Bengal, and the trust hospital R.C. Agarwal Memorial run by Medica in Tinsukia brought quality healthcare to Assam. Medica took over the operations of Medica Gamma Hospital (developed as a boutique healthcare unit in the heart of Kolkata). Recently a specialised heart care unit, Medica Heart Institute, has started functioning in Dhanbad, and we have started Medica Magadh Hospital in patna. The group started Bhagawan Mahavir Medica Superspeciality Hospital in Ranchi and to have its footprint in Odisha it has opened Tata Steel Medica Hospital in Kalinganagar.
Q. How do you perceive the Indian health sector?
A. Health sector in India has a huge gap between supply and demand, especially in secondary and tertiary care. Government will take time to improve the infrastructure but treatment cannot be delayed. That’s why private sector participation in healthcare is so important to provide timely and good quality healthcare.
Q. How has GST affected the industry?
A. GST does not show a clear effect yet. Our cost has gone up marginally. The impact is minimal, almost like no impact. It has not made healthcare expensive. Expensive is a very relative term. What is expensive to me, might not be the same for someone else. Then again healthcare is a need that you cannot deny. If you need it then you have to have it.
Q. What are the future investment plans of Medica?
A. We are the largest player in the eastern India. No one in the region is as large or as omnipresent as Medica. There are many other national players in this sector but they have got just one or two centres. We are the only one present in multiple states like Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, etc. We are planning to expand to places like Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Uttar Pradesh, etc.
Q. What is the speciality of Medica?
A. The speciality of Medica is the cutting edge that we bring to the masses. We are providing both skills and equipment and practices, which are the best in the world. When a new technology comes it gets launched in the US and India at the same time. Why should healthcare not offer the same thing to the population? If you live in Benares, it does not mean that you will not have access to good healthcare? All the best doctors are with Medica at this moment. They are here as we provide both skill and latest technology at an affordable price. A replacement of any equipment costs a lot and profitability of healthcare is not good.
Q. What is the concept of the Heart Team?
A. The Heart Team is the latest addition to the services we cater to our clients. It is a team of specialised and highly efficient doctors who will meet the cardiac patients and provide them an overall treatment, so that the patient does not need to knock different doors. This team will consist of doctors from different fields as per the requirement of the patient.