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BW Businessworld

Specialist Advantage

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For a year, Francis went to a multi-speciality charitable hospital in Bangalore. Hygiene was an issue. ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Â¦ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…“The sheets werenÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¾ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢t clean,ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ he recalls. He shared the room with persons with HIV and hepatitis C ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ increasing the probability of infection if equipment wasnÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¾ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢t cleaned properly. Worse, medical students at the hospital were learning at his expense, damaging two of his ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Â¹ÃÆ'ƒâ€¦ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Åâ€Å"fistulasÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¾ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ or surgically made access points within the arm for the blood to flow out to the dialyser and back in. Fistulas are generally made in the left arm (the less used one) but with those damaged, Francis had to get it done on the right arm. He was desperate for an alternative.

Then he heard of NephroLife Care, a facility devoted to kidney care that opened its doors early this year. Francis switched. ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Â¦ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…“ItÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¾ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢s clean, and they take good care of us,ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ he says in a phone interview. Among the things that changed, Francis was put on a different floor from HIV and hepatitis C sufferers. This is standard policy at NephroLife. ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Â¦ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…“Nephrology (kidney care) is not an area where India can claim world-class standards,ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ says Shiram Vijayakumar, 29, founder and managing director. He wants to change that with a chain of focused clinics.

Roughly a year ago, when BW put single-speciality hospital chains on its cover as the next big thing in Indian healthcare, Vijayakumar was hatching plans for such a venture.

It is a calculated bet. Unlike a hospital catering to all disciplines, a focused kidney centre needs far lower capital and is relatively easily scaleable. There is potential. Diabetes and hypertension ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ both reaching epidemic proportions in India ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ are the two most significant causes of kidney disease. But patients are under- served. When investing, hospitals prioritise big ticket disciplines such as cardiology and oncology over nephrology. India has a shortage of nephrologists or doctors focused on kidney disease, transplantation and dialysis. Few teaching hospitals offer courses in the subject. For these and other reasons ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ importantly, the expense ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ each year less than 4 per cent of the 200,000-300,000 persons that get end-stage renal disease have access to care.

Call In The Experts
Dialysis lies at the core of NephroLife. Its quality is NephroLifeÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¾ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢s biggest ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Â¦ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…“selling pointÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ĉÃ&c