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Max Healthcare banks on robotic surgeries to push revenue per bed

Private hospital chain Max Healthcare Institute on November 7 said that given the seasonal nature of the business, it expects to outperform in the second half of the fiscal year compared to the first half in which it recorded a revenue of ₹3,361 crore.

In a post-earnings chat with CNBC-TV18, Chairman and Managing Director Abhay Soi spoke about the increase in demand for robotic surgeries. He said this year, the hospital chain did twice the number of robotic surgeries compared to the previous year.

“We have about 20 robots across the country, across most of our healthcare systems. And, the demand for that is increasingly moving up. Usually, it costs about ₹60,000 to ₹70,000 more for that sort of surgery but that is the low end. It will go up to ₹150,000 more as far as robotics is concerned.”

What is robotic surgery?
Robot-assisted surgery, or robotic surgery integrates advanced computer technology with a surgeon’s hands-on experience to assist in performing complex procedures. The robots replicate a surgeon’s hand movements to operate, thus, minimising risks due to unexpected hand tremors or jerks.

Robotic surgery leads to less tissue damage, minimal blood loss, faster recovery, micro-precision, greater flexibility while performing surgery, reduced risk of infection and less pain, according to Max Healthcare.

How the September quarter panned out for Max
The Delhi-based hospital chain’s revenue for the quarter was up 17% over last year, at ₹1,732 crore. The increase in revenue was attributed to an increase in the average revenue per occupied bed (ARPOBs), improved occupancy and better patient mix.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margin expanded to 28.7% from 27.7 % in the year-ago period.

Max Healthcare CMD’s remark came as
The hospital operator’s occupancy — the number of beds effectively occupied — stood at 77% in the second quarter of the fiscal while occupied bed days (OBD) i.e. the number of occupied beds for each day of the period grew by over 3% on year.

The average revenue per occupied bed (ARPOB) also improved to ₹74,600 in the second quarter as against ₹66,000 last year. The spike in ARPOBs further aided the improvement in operating metrics. However, on a sequential basis, ARPOB declined by ₹200. The firm expects to see an average revenue per occupied bed at ₹73,000 for FY24.

The company’s shares ended the day a little over a percent lower at ₹591 apiece. CNBCTV18

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