Healthcare providers now feel that good infrastructure will not only improve quality of service but also add value to medical tourism. Dr Rajendra Patankar, COO, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, in an interaction with Raelene Kambli, explains how his hospital has attracted medical tourists by way of improving their infrastructure and hospitality
What role does infrastructure play in attracting medical tourist?
Medical tourists are looking for a world-class institution with best service standards and the latest medical equipment which offers quality medical care at economic rates. He is keen to be treated at a hospital which offers a safe environment which follows the best Infection Control Practices and the best in class medical care plans by qualified specialists under one roof. Any modern tertiary care medical institution which does not compromise on installing state-of-the art technology like the latest wide bore MRI machines, Modular OTs with HEPA filters, a well-equipped ICU, a modern cardiac Cath Lab unit equipped with the latest techniques can go a long way in attracting medical tourists.
What kind of infrastructure elements have you added at your hospital to attract medical tourists?
Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital (NSSH) has a dedicated deluxe floor, a dedicated administrator for each floor, a dedicated butler, higher nurse to patient ratio, a concierge service in order to cater to the varied needs of the medical tourist. In addition, we also offer the services of a translator in case a medical tourist is not in a position to communicate in English. We also have an airport pickup-and-drop service wherein a patient can directly be picked up from the airport and brought to the hospital. The hospital also has a dedicated and well-equipped advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) ambulance unit which can transport the patient to and from the airport.
How many medical tourists do you cater to at your hospital? How many of them are from the other states of India and how many are from abroad?
It would be difficult to state the number in volumes though the number is substantially large. We also attend to a sizeable number of medical tourists from abroad.
Does your hospital have special stay areas for relatives of medical tourist?
NSSH offers comfortable guest accommodations for relatives of medical tourists in its deluxe floor within the hospital premises. We have an in-house kitchen facility which looks after the meal requirements. We also assist the relatives in securing accommodation in nearby hotels.
Has Nanavati hospital tied up with Pawan Hans to airlift patients. If yes, what is the development on this?
NSSH is just across the road to Mumbai’s Helicopter Base which also houses an small air strip, while the main International Airport is just five minutes’ drive from the hospital. At present, there is no formal tie-up with Pawan Hans for airlifting patients although there are several chartered carriers with whom we engage on a regular basis for ferrying medical tourists regularly.
On an annual basis, how much do you invest in infrastructure to attract medical tourists?
It is difficult to quantify the stated investment in numbers though the amount is substantially huge as NSSH does not compromise on the quality of services offered and believes in giving the best in class quaternary level of treatment to every patient, national and international.