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HCG mulls acquiring new hospitals

Cancer care provider HealthCare Global Enterprises (HCG) is exploring a mix of organic and inorganic opportunities for growth and expansion in India over the next 3-5 years.

To tap the segment, the HCG team is conducting comprehensive market research to gain a better understanding of the Indian cancer market. Considering new cancer incidences, relapse of the disease, growing affordability and inflation in the country, the oncology market in India is expected to grow by 11-12 per cent to Rs 26,300 crore by 2024, per estimates.

“We are looking to expand to strategic locations at an appropriate time. We are actively evaluating inorganic opportunities in cancer care that are value accretive to the company,” Raj Gore, CEO, Healthcare Global Enterprises, told BT.

“Over the next 3-5 years, we intend to expand our bed capacity both organically and inorganically, while continuing to invest in advanced technologies. In addition, we are exploring the possibility of acquiring hospitals and partnering with smaller healthcare facilities to provide tertiary and quaternary care,” he said.

HCG has been expanding its footprint in the last few years. Between 2016 and 2020, the company established 10 new hospitals. In India, HCG has been expanding its presence in new markets and investing in technology and innovation to enhance its services as well. At present, the company has an operational capacity of 22 comprehensive cancer centres. It also has a cancer care centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

“HCG intends to expand its capacity in high-growth areas by adding six linear accelerators (LINACs) to its own inventory within the next 1-2 years and adding 125 beds through ongoing greenfield expansion at Ahmedabad and Bengaluru,” said Gore.

“We expect to observe substantial growth in the Maharashtra region, primarily driven by our newer centres in Mumbai, as well as in the East, led by Kolkata,” he said.

Per available data, cancer incidence in India is growing at annualised rate of 6.8 per cent, which is higher than in countries like China, Brazil and Indonesia. While 1.9-2 million estimated cases are reported in India per year, the real incidence is estimated to be 1.5-3 times higher.

“Our main focus has been on improving medical infrastructure and expanding the capacity of our existing centres throughout the country. We have seen significant growth in patient volumes in key markets such as Jaipur and Mumbai,” said Gore.

HCG is focusing on increasing footfall, optimising the use of its assets and broadening margins in order to improve profitability. Indicating that HCG will continue to invest in the expansion of its cancer care services and infrastructure in the coming years, given the growing demand for cancer treatment and care in India, Gore said, “Our focus is on identifying the most prevalent types of cancer in India, the existing treatments, and innovative therapies. By doing so, we aim to create products and services that are customised to meet the unique needs of the Indian market.” Business Today

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