The Dilemma of Single Speciality Hospitals

DoctorA recent cover story in Business World highlights the growing influence of Single Speciality Hospitals (SSH) in India. I read the story carefully. First and foremost, I was delighted to see a cover on healthcare in Business World. It is not often that the business of healthcare gets prominence in a widely circulated and highly respected business weekly. That, BW decided to do this story is a testimony to the growing importance of the private healthcare sector, which is something to cheer about.

SSH’s make good business sense at least in some specialities. The investment required is low compared to a large Multi Speciality Hospital (MSH), funds can be accessed through PE firms and financial institutions, the hospital can be set up quickly and if one ropes in a well known medical luminary of that particular field, it is not too difficult to fill up the beds. Once the operations stabilise, one can consider franchising or expanding by setting up super specialised centres in large multi speciality hospitals. Specialities like Ophthalmology, Dentistry, Obs and Gynaecology (remember the neighbourhood mother and child centre) have always had Single Speciality Hospitals and clinics.  The trend is now towards large SSH for Oncology, Urology and even Day Care Surgeries.   Continue reading