(Bloomberg) -- Max Healthcare Institute Ltd., India’s second-largest hospital chain operator, plans to invest $450 million over the next four years as it gears up to add capacity after the country’s health care system last year was overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are looking at doubling our capacity, we are fortunate to have land banks in our network” in cities including Mumbai and New Delhi, Abhay Soi, the company’s chairman and managing director, told Bloomberg TV Tuesday. Max Healthcare is entering “a huge asset creation cycle in the two to three years,” he said.
The investment will help boost capacity at existing hospitals as well as augment the firm’s land holdings further, according to Soi. Max Healthcare will also continue focusing on medical tourism, he said.
The expansion plans come in the backdrop of repeated virus outbreaks in the crowded country of almost 1.4 billion people. The delta variant-led wave in April and May last year overwhelmed hospitals and left many Indians pleading for medical resources on social-media platforms.
Indian hospitals and the government have said that traumatic experience has lead to improvements in the country’s health care capacity, with many facilities adding oxygen plants and learning to switch rapidly between Covid medical care and non-Covid treatments during successive virus waves.
The country added 238,018 new infections on Tuesday, pushing the total tally of cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 37.6 million. Covid-related deaths rose by 310 in a day cross 486,700, according to government data.
India fortunately wasn’t seeing a big rise in hospitalization amid the current omicron-led wave, but medical facilities were all better prepared now, Soi said. “We have all sort of seen how far we can stretch the envelope.”
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