Hyderabad: Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, India’s biggest healthcare chain, plans to buy hospitals in Tanzania, Botswana and Nigeria in addition to its plan to set up one in Dar es Salaam.
“There are hospitals available for takeover in Tanzania, Botswana and Nigeria. We are looking at them,” said Radhey Mohan. P, senior general manager, international business development, Apollo Hospitals. He declined to provided more details.
Apollo is setting up a 500-bed hospital in Tanzania that will require an investment of $70 million and plans to serve patients from east and west Africa.
The hospital will have 300 beds in the first phase, and the rest will be added in the second phase. The construction of the hospital will start in 2012 and the doctors at the facility will be a mix of Indians and local hires.
Apollo also plans to set up a clinic each in Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and Zambia, he said.
“We are very hopeful about our expansion plans in Africa,” said Sangita Reddy, executive director-operations, Apollo group of Hospitals.
“The clinics will support the hospital. It will be a hub-and-spoke model. The preparation of the feasibility report for the clinics is on,” said Sudhir Diggikar, chief executive of Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd.
Sangita Reddy, executive director-operations, Apollo group of Hospitals. Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg
Every clinic will involve an investment of around Rs 12 crore. At present, the healthcare service provider has a capacity of more than 8,700 beds across 54 hospitals within and outside India.
Joseph Mettle Nunoo, deputy health minister of Ghana, said Apollo is interested in setting up a hospital there as well.
An increasing number of African countries are interested in partnering with Indian organizations both in the public and the private sectors in the areas of healthcare services, manufacturing of tropical drugs and joint research for prevention of communicable diseases.
Currently, around 35,000 African patients visit Apollo’s facilities in India. The Apollo Group through its Apollo Global Projects Consultancy has been undertaking hospital consulting jobs in Africa.
“International patients contribute around 25% to our topline,” said Radhey Mohan. P
Apollo Hospitals posted a net profit of Rs 137.6 crore on sales of Rs 26,054 crore in the last fiscal.
Capacity building in areas such as healthcare is at the focus of India’s relationship building with African nations. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at the India-Africa summit held in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in May, announced that $700 million will be provided for training and building new institutions in the continent.
A report prepared by the Export-Import Bank of India for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry says, “India’s contribution for the promotion of African connectivity and the value-added services in the knowledge domain in education, healthcare, e-governance, agriculture would contribute in capacity building activities in the African region. This, in turn, would further enhance the role of India as a partner in Africa’s development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and share its experience and expertise with countries in the African region.”