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Kalam opens Aster Medcity in Kerala
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KOCHI: Former president APJ Abdul Kalam formally inaugurated the Aster Medcity, the first of several quaternary care centres planned by Gulf-based Aster DM Healthcare in India, on Wednesday.

This is the first of its kind comprehensive medical township in Kerala on 40 acres of land and 60,000 people were treated here since the soft launch of its Phase-1 nine months back.

There are a multispeciality hospital and separate centres of cardiac sciences, neurosciences, nephrology and urology, oncology, orthopedics, rheumatology, gastro-enterology and hepatology, women’s health and child and adolescent health.

Physician-turned-entrepreneur Dr Azad Moopen, the group’s chairman and managing director, said the Phase-2 development plan was ready and he hoped to start it in “two to three years” based on the response the existing facilities received.

He said the group had also made a Rs1 billion buyout of an NRI-promoted hospital in Bangalore and it would soon be re-launched soon.

Aster DM Healthcare, India’s third largest healthcare service provider, has 193 facilities across eight countries including the Gulf countries and it plans to enter Bahrain, the Philippines and Jordan soon.

It also plans to go for an initial public offering (IPO) in the third quarter of the current fiscal year and to be listed on major courses.

Of the patients admitted to the group’s hospitals in India currently, 15 per cent are medical value tourists.

It plans to raise it to 50 per cent with cost-effective packages for foreigners willing to come to “God’s Own Country” for surgical procedures while enjoying its hills, beaches and backwaters.

The group’s hospitals in India has a combined bed strength of 3,500 and it plans to double it by 2017. New acquisitions are also in the pipeline.

The newly opened hospital cluster built at a cost of Rs5.5 billion in this port city has 670 beds.

It will function as a “hub” for the group’s “spokes” along with the 750-bed Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) and 500-bed Wayanad Institute of Medical Sciences (WIMS).

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy presided over the inaugural function, also attended by ministers and officials from Sri Lanka, Maldives and the GCC countries.

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