Sterling Hospital JV with IHHC to cater home healthcare segment

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AHMEDABAD: Gujarat-based Sterling Group of Hospitals has entered into a joint venture with India Home Health Care (IHHC) to set up Asilia Home Healthcare that would cater home healthcare services segment.

The home healthcare services are mainly nursing or medical services provided at home. In India, this segment mainly falls under unorganised category; however, in developed countries like US, it is recognised as organised sector and has been growing quite fast. As per healthcare industry estimate, out of 300 million homes, about 250 million homes might have taken homecare services atleast once.

“Sterling will hold 70% stake in the JV, while the rest would be with IHHC” said Rajeev Sharma, CEO, Sterling Hospitals. IHHC is a five year old company and a US-based Bayada, a leading home healthcare service provider had invested in IHHC. Bayada is a $1 billion company by revenue and has 23000 employees across US.

On Tuesday, Sterling Hospital and IHHC announced their collaboration to provide home healthcare services in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The service would start immediately in Ahmedabad and then soon in Vadodara. Later it would cover all major cities in Gujarat.

The service scope under comprehensive home healthcare spreads over both clinical as well as non-clinical value-added medical services from rehabilitation to hospice with a broad spectrum of holistic approach towards wellness ranging for all age groups. The nature of services under this offering includes nursing care, caregiver services, doctor’s consultation, lifestyle and diet counselling, yoga trainer, rehabilitative services, palliative care, companion/health buddy, equipment rental and sale, sample collection, pharmacy delivery and durable medical equipment on sale / rental basis.

“Changing demographics and lack of medical care in smaller towns are fueling demand for home healthcare” says Girish Patel, chairman, Sterling Addlife India Ltd, the holding company of Sterling Hospitals. He further elaborated that with rising medical cost, post-surgery or post-treatment medical requirement and rehabilitation can be taken care at home with much lesser cost, which includes economical cost as well as social cost.

“Homecare is cheaper compared to hospital cost for post treatments scenario and socially people do not have to give up their career to take care of their loved ones” said Mr Patel. However, Mr Sharma clarifies that; homecare is not alternative for hospital care for patients, but rather an aid to patients who need rehabilitation in post-surgery or post treatment scenario.

In developed countries, there are three step approaches toward treatment, first hospital, second rehabilitation, third long term care and at last home care. The treatment approach differs from patients to patients. However, in India, after discharging from hospital, patients goes to home and the homecare responsibilities falls on the family and their relatives. “With more Indian family turning nuclear families, the need/demand for home healthcare would increase further” said Mr Patel.

IHHC currently operates in two metro cities in South India – Chennai and Bangalore. It annually caters 3000 patients at their homes. Sameer Mehta, director of IHHC, said “Since inception five years ago, the company is growing at 50% to 100% CAGR”.

As per a global market research firm, international market for home healthcare is expected to cross $300 billion (about Rs 19 lakh crore) by 2018, whereas in India, the market size is pegged at about Rs 12,600 crore.

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