Lanka Hospitals in major expansion drive
Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC (LHCL), which is controlled by the Sri Lankan government, will be investing over Rs.350 million in expansions, including a new 12-storey building and setting up branches in other parts of Sri Lanka and in the Seychelles.
“The 12-storey building- we have not budgeted it yet; so the exact investment isn’t finalized yet but it will be around Rs.300 million and constructed over the next two to three years,” LHCL CEO Dr. Prasad Medawatte told Mirror Business yesterday. He said that the funds would be internally generated. Currently, LHCL has around Rs.2.2 billion in retained earnings invested in financial assets.
LHCL Chairman Dr. Sarath Paranavitane in his annual review for the past financial year said the hospital has been battling with constrained capacity.
The hospital had an 85 percent occupancy rate of its beds in 2017 and treated 27,116 patients, which was a 0.5 percent decline year-onyear, due to the dengue epidemic, which saw longer stays at the hospital by fewer patients.
While the land adjacent to the hospital has been acquired for the new building, which would house an expansion of the existing services and the commencement of new specializations, LHCL has yet to finalize the access road, Dr. Medawatte said.
Meanwhile, after the Seychelles President Danny Faure visited the hospital last year and the signing of several bilateral agreements between LHCL and the Seychelles Health Care Agency to promote training of medical professionals and medical tourism to Sri Lanka, LHCL will open its first overseas unit in the Seychelles this year.
According to the LHCL annual report, the ‘Seychelles Medical Centre’ would offer primary care and screening services and serve as a medical tourism promotional arm of LHCL. In 2016, 715 patients from the Seychelles visited LHCL in Sri Lanka, of which 126 were admitted, while in 2017, LHCL treated 178 patients from the Seychelles. “The Seychelles branch will have an investment of Rs.47 million and will also be financed by internal funds,” Dr. Medawatte said.
The LHCL annual report outlines how the firm is planning the Seychelles foray to be a pilot project and its success would result in the business model being duplicated in other regional countries, to further promote medical tourism to Sri Lanka. Domestically, LHCL will be investing around Rs.10 million to set up 10 satellite offices in regions outside Colombo.
Dr. Medawatte said that the services offered by these offices would range from medical treatment down to laboratory services, depending on the region each office is situated in.
In 2017, LHCL’S net profits fell 40 percent year-on-year (YOY) to Rs.580.8 million, owing to higher cost of services arising from providing treatment during the dengue epidemic, in spite of revenue increasing 8.4 percent YOY to Rs.6.4 billion. The state-owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation has a 54.61 percent stake in LHCL.
Dr. Sarath Paranavitane
Dr. Prasad Medawatte