Apollo to spend Rs 2,400 cr to add 3,000 beds between 2012-14

"On an average, taking metros and tier-1 and tier-2 cities, we will be spending in the range of Rs 60-80 lakh per bed," Apollo Hospitals Group chairman Prathap C Reddy told reporters here.

According to Reddy, this investment would be possible in the 2012-14 fiscals.The company is already in the process of investing Rs 1,800 crore for adding nearly 2,000 beds in the 2009-11 period. Out of the target of 2000 beds, the company has already added nearly 1,200 beds.At present, Apollo Hospitals has 8,500 beds across 50 hospitals, 1,000 pharmacies and 100 diagnostic clinics.

On arranging funds for the 2012-14 expansion process, the company did not rule out external funding."We have an excellent debt-equity ratio of 0.5 to 1 which can go up to 1.5, so arranging funds will not be a problem for the expansion," Reddy said.
Speaking about its telemedicine project, he said the company plans to expand its operations further in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region).

"We are planning to expand the telemedicine services in Middle East countries and Africa. At the moment, we provide services in 52 African nations," Reddy said.In India, Apollo has 120 telemedicine centres and also offers services in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Africa.

In telemedicine, medical information is transferred through interactive audiovisual media for the purpose of consulting and sometimes remote medical procedures.

On the company's re-entry into Sri Lanka he said: "There is still time to go for that."
In 2006, Apollo Hospitals decided to sell its 30 per cent stake in Lanka Hospital Corporation -- the owner of Apollo Sri Lanka -- to Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, which is owned by Harry Jayawardena, who launched a hostile takeover bid for control of the hospital.

Apollo was forced to take the step after two other minority shareholders, Sino-Lanka -- which had a three per cent stake -- and R Navaratnam, a key promoter of Apollo in Sri Lanka, who had 5 per cent, also sold out to the insurance company.

Shares of Apollo Hospitals today closed at Rs 813.30 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, down 0.67 per cent from the previous close.

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