There’s a growing demand for value-based healthcare in the UAE: Dr Sangita Reddy

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Dubai - The JMD of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises and a past president of Ficci lavishes praise on Expo 2020 Dubai.


Joydeep Sengupta

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Published: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 11:24 AM

Dr Sangita Reddy is the youngest daughter of Dr Prathap C Reddy, an Indian entrepreneur and cardiologist who founded the first corporate chain of hospitals, the Apollo Hospital, in South Asia’s most populous nation.

Dr Reddy is the Joint Managing Director (JMD) of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises.

She is also a past president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci), a non-governmental trade association and advocacy group headquartered in Delhi.

She was in town recently to attend the Expo 2020 Dubai, which started on October 1.

Khaleej Times caught up with Dr Reddy to get a sense of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises’ emergence as one of the leading private healthcare facilities in India, innovation in healthcare and the group’s focus to expand their footprints in the UAE and the wider region in the Middle East.

She said India would need an active participation from all stakeholders in a bid to evolve a comprehensive public health policy. She advocated for countries to track health indices on the lines of monitoring GDP.

She cited how the availability of newer treatment technologies is leading to better outcomes and has enhanced the quality of life of patients.

Dr Reddy emphasised her group’s focus on the region, especially the UAE, because of a growing demand for value-based healthcare.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

What’s the secret behind your emergence as the global healthcare influencer?

In India, specifically the healthcare sector has been slow to adopt the influencer voice. I have always been committed to transforming the healthcare system through technological advancements for effective service mechanisms leading to a more patient-centric approach. This required active engagement with governments, industry bodies and global healthcare forums in a bid to develop public health policy. It also envisaged the development of the private sector’s role in the global healthcare industry.

What values did you imbibe from your father, Dr Prathap C Reddy?

Of all my father’s wonderful personality traits, I have been influenced most by his innate ability to stay positive, humble and focused even after all his stellar achievements.

His vision to increase awareness and prevent

non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India are commendable. He often says, “When people are dying simply due to lack of awareness, we need to find a way to stop this – prevention is better than cure.” Apollo Hospitals is imbibing that vision and is moving forward to translate this into reality. I believe that the day countries start tracking their health indices the same way they monitor their GDP, it will be the beginning of a much-desired change in the healthcare scenario.

How can hi-tech improve healthcare?

Technology has brought about a massive and welcome change to the healthcare industry. Now, patients have access to some of the best diagnostic tools, new and cutting-edge treatments, and a myriad of minimally-invasive procedures resulting in less pain and quicker healing. Remote consultations with specialists, targeted treatments, and the availability of intuitive mobile applications (apps) have led to improved patient care and a superior healthcare experience overall. Besides, the availability of newer treatment technologies leading to better outcomes has enhanced the quality of life of the patients as well.

Apollo Hospitals cater to a lot of patients from the Middle East and the Arab world. What kind of ramped up facilities are on offer?

The proven clinical competencies of our Doctors and nurses across 72 Apollo hospitals in India, marked by quality processes, best patient safety practices, and ongoing commitment to innovation, has not only helped us make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable but has placed us on cutting edge of healthcare delivery, affording us several differentiators in various centres of excellence. Our mission is to bring healthcare of international standards within the reach of every individual. The most recent investment being the commissioning of South East Asia’s very first Proton Therapy Centre in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Today, Apollo Hospitals welcomes patients from across the world, who come to experience a world class healthcare complemented by our rich heritage of healing and vibrant culture, all at a fraction of the cost as compared to the rest of the world.

What other initiatives are you looking at in the UAE and in the wider region in the Arab world?

Demand for value-based healthcare in the region is increasing. We are looking at opportunities as the UAE looks to extensively expand and upgrade its healthcare system and develop a robust world-class healthcare infrastructure with a patient-centric healthcare model enabling hi-tech diagnostics tools, telehealth, and robotic surgery. There are also opportunities in primary healthcare, especially for preventive care and early detection, ambulatory care, telemedicine, and home-based care using the latest healthcare technology.

What are the key takeaways of Expo 2020 Dubai?

Expo 2020 Dubai aims to be a platform to help heal the planet, for people’s voices to be heard in policy circles, to generate new ideas and inspire novel business perspectives. Its three sub-themes of mobility, sustainability and opportunity are core to global problems and are well represented in encapsulating “connecting minds creating the future”.

How can India learn from Dubai? Is the country ready to host an event of this scale?

The Dubai Expo 2020 is just the beginning of a great new partnership between both our countries in many new dimensions. The UAE is one of India’s leading trading partners. Dubai and the UAE are the gateway to the Middle East and then onwards to Africa and these are all emerging markets. A lot can be achieved through comprehensive economic partnerships. Dubai’s expertise in logistics and ports management will be of immense help to India as we are looking to develop our special economic zones (SEZs).

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