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Helping Apollo's Low-Cost Hospitals Serve India’s Poor


Costs at Apollo Reach Hospitals are Typically 30 Percent Lower than Competitors’

 

Washington, D.C., October 11, 2011 – Mallepally Narsaiah is a 57-year old construction worker who makes less than $2 a day—not nearly enough to treat his heart condition.

 

Yet when he suffered a heart attack, he received medical care at no cost, thanks to an IFC-supported hospital in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. He underwent coronary artery bypass surgery and spent 10 days recuperating at the Apollo Reach Hospital in Karimnagar.  He didn’t have to pay for medicine, diagnostics, food, ambulance, or surgery.

 

 

Providing health insurance for the poor through private delivery systems

 

India is one of a growing number of emerging market-countries that provide public health insurance for the poor through private delivery systems. The cost of treatment is reimbursed to the hospital by the state via a public-private partnership.

 

To serve this largely untapped market, IFC is helping Apollo Hospitals build its low-cost Apollo Reach hospitals in smaller cities, semi-urban, and rural areas where health services are limited.
“I am proud to live in a country that takes such good care of its people,” Mallepally says.

 

The Apollo Reach hospital chain offers specialized tertiary services: cardiac care, cancer treatment, radiology, neurosurgery, and other treatments that would normally require long-distance travel and considerable expense.

 

Bringing highly trained staff to underserved communities

 

These hospitals bring highly trained staff to underserved communities, and typically boast costs that are 30 percent lower than the competition. The Reach model brings world-class health care to the doorstep of the consumer, while creating significant job opportunities for local doctors, nurses, and technicians.

 

A $50 million IFC loan is helping Apollo build 15 more hospitals serving 400,000 patients a year. Of those patients, 120,000 are expected to be very poor, earning $1 to 2 per day. Both rich and poor use the same hospitals, and the higher fees paid by more affluent patients make this business model commercially viable. IFC is also an equity holder in Apollo Hospitals.

 

Elizabeth Price
Sr. Communications Officer, IFC
Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services Department
Phone: 202-458-0387
Email: eprice@ifc.org

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