New Delhi: Aster DM Healthcare eyes ‘Modicare’ as a huge opportunity to serve poor patients in India. Hence, it has decided on an ambitious plan for a pan India expansion through tie ups and investments.
Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman, Aster DM, Healthcare Major spanning UAE and India, has recently expressed his intent for expansion in the light of Modicare, saying it has vast experience that would come handy.
The proposed National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), flaunted as Modicare, unveiled in the last budget by Narendra Modi government, entails health insurance worth Rs 5 Lakh every year to 10 crore poor people. It is billed the biggest government funded health insurance program in the world as yet.
Leveraging Modicare, Aster Medicare can serve a vast swathe of poor patients in rural and semi urban areas of India. It has the know-how to provide healthcare at a cost-effective manner. Aster already runs clinics under brand ‘Access’, providing affordable healthcare targeting blue collar workers and people from the lower economic strata in UAE. The healthcare behemoth wants to replicate that brand in India too.
Access clinics are located in the industrial and residential areas in Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman catering mainly to the working class and their basic healthcare needs. They offer primary healthcare facilities alongside allied services including X-RAY, laboratory facilities and pharmacies. Aster DM is looking at possibilities that involve helping existing nursing homes in India providing its expertise, bringing in cath lab, or joint investigations and connecting with them through technology.
In the last 5 years, out of total 3887 installed bed capacity in India, Aster has added close to half the beds through acquisitions in cities such as Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Kozhikode, Kottakkal and Wayanad in Kerala, and Guntur and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The company is planning to add 1372 beds through Greenfield and Brownfield expansion in the next four years in India and is open for acquisitions. For now, Aster already has 10 multi-specialty hospitals and 7 clinics in India.
Aster DM Healthcare is already committed to cater to poor patients in India. Dr Azad Moopen, chairman, Aster DM Healthcare, had promised setting aside 20 percent of its wealth for poor patients of India in 2011 in return for Padma Shri. Aster is running philanthropic health programs to that end. Modicare may prove an instrument to fully fulfil its commitment.