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Rate standardization: Apollo Hospitals MD expects talks with govt post-polls

Suneeta Reddy, Managing Director at Apollo Hospitals expects discussions with the government on standardising rates for different medical procedures to happen post-elections.

In March, India’s top court, responding to a public interest litigation filed by an NGO, had given the government a month to fix standard rates for different medical procedures.

Private hospitals fear their profits will be severely squeezed if the government imposes a standardised rate like the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).

Some procedures are as much as 80% cheaper under the CGHS compared to what they cost at private hospitals.

Reddy said the standardised packages have already been created within the industry. And for Apollo, these packages have been designed in a way that the margins remain intact.

“Our job now is to work with the government as we have done during Covid. To really sensitise people who are looking at these rates about the true cost of health care, and why quality is important. And therefore, why we cannot make compromises. Clearly, it is a discussion which will happen post-elections,” she said.

The company has also been able to absorb the inflation-linked cost increases so far.

“We have absorbed that 5% (inflation last year) and inflation has come down this year compared to previous years. So, I believe that tariff increases will be minimal than what happened in the previous year,” she said.

She also talked about the immediate need to create additional healthcare infrastructure in the country post-Covid to prepare for any future pandemics particularly in non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

In its report titled Health of the Nation 2024 Report released earlier this month, Apollo Hospitals highlighted some alarming trends that suggest that over the last two decades, NCDs have become the leading cause of death in the country.

The company had earlier given a revenue growth guidance of 15% for the current financial year (FY25),

Reddy maintained the guidance for now but expects that with new facilities becoming fully operational, the growth could even excess 15%.

The current capitalisation of the company is ₹89,881.23 crore. CNBCTV18

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