Business Times

Lanka Hospitals to increase capacity, expand in the regions, open for JVs

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

The Lanka Hospitals Corporation Ltd. (LHCL) is looking at capacity increase while regional expansion beyond Colombo is on the cards. It is also exploring partnerships with investors, according to officials.
“Capacity increase at the current premises is being discussed and we will add 100 more rooms and new theatres and clinics this year,” Lakith Peiris, CEO LHCL told the Business Times.

He said that LHCL is now discussing with many parties and also investors on the possibility of partnerships, Joint Ventures to set up hospitals within the country. “This is at the inception (stage) at present and we’re still exploring the possibilities,” he said. Mr. Peiris said that this year Rs 800 million will be pumped to LHCL for its capacity building.

He said on April 1 the first preliminary care centre will be opened in Malabe. “This will house an outpatient department, lab, pharmacy, emergency care and also preliminary care. We will open six such centres in the Colombo suburbs this year,” he said.

The hospital also has plans to start an international patient care centre in a bid to cater to foreign patients. Mr. Peiris said that LHCL will start to promote medical tourism this year as Sri Lanka is well on its way to be recognised as a medical hub.

He added that all the revenue generators at LHCL have shown an increase during last year. “This means we’re eating into others’ (competitor) market share. Whilst retaining our niche clientele, we were able to penetrate into both lower as well as middle income patients,” he said.

He added that LHCL is rated as the country’s most cost effective hospital as at now. “We are the first to publish our tariffs, which has directed masses to LHCL,” he said. Mr. Peiris said that LHCL recognises that laboratories will be a growing area this year and that they will focus more on this.

He said that within six months of re-branding as LHCL, the former Apollo Hospital has made great strides in its brand equity. “We rebranded as Lanka Hospitals in November 2009 and in May last year and Brand Finance rated LHCL at number 36,” he said, adding that this was a slot higher than any other hospital in the country. He said that the LHCL brand was valued at Rs 800 million by Brand Finance.

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