Wockhardt Hospitals Limited, the only private hospital group in India, associate of Harvard Medical International has chalked out an ambitious growth strategy with an investment of Rs569 crore in expanding, developing and constructing both greenfield and brownfield expansion plans.
The hospital chain has been promoted by Indian pharmaceutical major Wockhardt.
The key elements of the growth strategy includes strengthening the healthcare provider's position in major metropolitan areas and establishing a presence in selected smaller Tier II cities.
Wockhardt Hospitals has grown from three hospitals with 139 beds in 2000, to a network of 10 super-specialty hospitals and five regional specialty ICU hospitals, with a total of 1,374 inpatient beds.
Besides establishing additional healthcare facilities, the company plans to strengthen its presence in major metropolitan areas, such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Delhi, by expanding the current operations through new greenfield and brownfield projects, as well as increasing beds at its existing hospitals.
It is already engaged in expanding its bed capacity at its Mulund hospital in Mumbai by adding 270 beds. This super-specialty hospital is one of the first hospitals in South Asia to have received international accreditation from Joint Commission International ("JCI"), the largest accreditor of healthcare organisations in the United States.
Wockhardt Hospitals also expects to be among the first major private healthcare services providers to commence focused tertiary care operations in select Tier II cities, such as Madgaon at Goa, Bhopal and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, Nashik in Maharastra, Bhavnagar and Bhuj in Gujarat, Ludhiana in Punjab, Patna in Bihar, Hubli in Karnataka and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, by adding new healthcare facilities.
Its evaluation criteria for new opportunities include the demographics and revenue potential of the local population, the competitive landscape, location and cost, and for existing facilities, the skill, specialty and reputation of doctors and other medical and non-medical staff, the work culture of the institution and the quality of the infrastructure.
The company intends to leverage growth model with flexible expansion plans that would improve profitability at the existing mature hospitals and increase occupancy rates at newer hospitals, with a focus on the high-value end of the healthcare services market while developing network of regional specialty ICU hospitals.
For the fiscal year ended 31 March 2007 and the nine months ended December 31, 2007, the average length of stay at the hospitals was 4.7 and 4.4 days, respectively.
At new hospitals, which it has added in the last three years, Wockhardt Hospitals plans to increase occupancy through extensive marketing, expansion of its referral network and increase in community outreach programmes to gain market share in the regions in which it operates.