APOLLO HOSPITALS | ESTABLISHED IN 1983
LOOKING FOR A CURE
When Apollo Hospitals started operations on September 18, 1983 , it marked the entry of corporatised healthcare in India, an innovation the healthcare industry was desperately in need of. Over the years, Apollo has taken healthcare to the distant underserved corners of the country through innovation, technology and commitment. Today, the group has emerged as a forerunner of integrated healthcare in Asia and is even listed on the National Stock Exchange.
The foremost challenge in setting up ‘a private hospital’ was regulatory approval and raising finance. “The protagonist in many ways,” says Apollo founder Dr Prathap C. Reddy, was former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who supported several proposals “at a time when banks were not allowed to lend to hospitals in the 1980s”. Reddy wrote an audacious letter to the prime minister on how he wished he had set up a brewery rather than a hospital and pointed out how hospitals had to be funded like any other industry. It set into motion a chain of events that led to the recognition of private healthcare as a corporate entity. This has fuelled the growth of the sector which today is estimated to touch $160 billion by 2017-end and $280 billion by 2020.
While expanding its network in India and abroad, Apollo is focusing on remote health, research and innovation. It is also partnering with many governments to upgrade and manage their primary health centres.
CARING HANDS Dr Prathap C. Reddy with staff at Apollo, Chennai