Friday, June 24, 2005

Columbia Asia to set up hospitals

Columbia Asia to set up hospitals
The Times of India

Bangalore: Columbia Asia, the Seattlebased hospital chain, is entering India via Bangalore. The community healthcare group will pump in $20 million to open three hospitals in Bangalore over next two years, the first of which will be opened in the first week of July. The hospitals are coming up on Kanakapura Road, Bannerghatta Road and Bellary Road.

This is the first time a hospital chain of such magnitude is entering the country. Columbia Asia is planning to open five more hospitals in the country, in various metros. Columbia Asia director Mathew Powell told The Times of India that India offered tremendous opportunities for community hospitals and that his group could be the first among many to enter India. “Now that we are here, many could follow suit,” he said.

According to Powell, over a 1,000 general hospitals had closed down in the US in the ‘90s. “Hence there is a need for multispeciality medical centres,” he said. Yet, it will be crucial that costs are kept to a minimum. Columbia Asia’s medical director Nandakumar Jairam said the hospital chain will target the emerging middle class. “We are conscious about this,” he said.

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