By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera
Asiri Surgical Hospital Plc (ASHP) is poised to open its second phase development with 40 rooms, four operating theatres and a cardiac centre next month, a top company official said. "We will open the second phase in November and this will enlarge ASHP," Ashok Pathirage, Chairman and Managing Director ASHP told The Sunday Times FT.
The majority owner of Asiri hospital chain which has Asiri Hospital Plc (AHP), Asiri Hospitals Matara Plc (AHMP) together with ASHP, Mr. Pathirage is planning to open the fifth hospital – tentatively named as The Central by next year. "The new hospital is at Norris Canal Road and it is a Rs. 4 billion project. It will have 270 beds, 10 operating theatres and will be 13 stories high," he said, adding that it will be Asiri chain's best. "It will be like a five star hotel." He said The Central, will cater to international communities from UK, USA, Maldives and other countries promoting "Health tourism" in Sri Lanka. "This will be in keeping with the healthy demand for specialist care facilities of the standard of countries such as Malaysia, India, Singapore and Thailand. There will be self contained apartments within the same complex to cater to those visitors with cafeterias and recreational facilities," he added.
Mr. Pathirage said the hospital project they started in Kandy is currently delayed. "Once we complete the new project we will start on the Kandy hospital," he added, saying that AHMP which they opened a year ago is breaking even now.
ASHP profits fell to Rs. 110 million for the year ended, March 31st 2008 from Rs. 220 million in 2007. "The high finance costs for the year jumped from Rs. 4.2 million the year before to Rs. 126.8 million for last year. This high costs cut into our profts and acquiring 32.71 percent in Asiri Central (formally Asha Central) was funded by loans of Rs. 727 million," Mr. Pathirage added.