Dec 21Featured ArticleIssue

Need to focus on addressing future pandemics

Collaborations play a key role in the growing network of associates who could always come in handy during dire situations. Karthik Rajagopal, COO, Manipal Hospitals shares insights

The priority would be to return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of operations and business. During the second wave, almost 80 to 90 per cent of our total occupancy was COVID related. With a dip in COVID cases, the goal for operations is to return to pre-pandemic functioning, where the majority of our revenue would come from the out-patient department and elective surgeries. While it is essential to return to pre-pandemic levels in operations and financials, it is also important to prepare for the future. The COVID pandemic truly challenged the healthcare system.


Going forward, we need to focus on addressing future pandemics with digital technology, crisis management, infrastructure growth, supply chain management, investing in technology, AI & VR in medical science, research and treatment offerings, and medical research and development to be ready for any health crisis. In recent years, businesses, including medical institutions have resorted to either new builds or acquiring existing ones as their growth strategies. While acquiring provides an opportunity for quick entry into new markets, new builds allow for the development of new facilities from the ground up providing the option to customise and expand in the future when needed.

In between the two, is where collaborations come in. In terms of medical expertise, inter-professional collaboration not only prevents medication errors but also improves patient experience, saves time, avoids duplicity, makes research and evelopment, and improves working relationships, all while delivering better patient outcomes and reducing overall medical costs. As for medical infrastructure, collaborations play a crucial role in reducing costs. Both, new builds and strategic acquisition growth strategies involve big money spending, and also would take a considerable amount of time. In comparison, collaborations help save costs and can prove to be a quicker alternative, provided the right match is found.

Collaborations play a key role in the growing network of associates who could always come in handy during dire situations. The pandemic created panic, especially in the healthcare industry, and this is when collaborations came into use. Collaboration with other private and public institutions can also play a crucial role in developing the overall healthcare system, and helping build a better perception towards the brand which will go a long way towards achieving success in the future.

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