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India’s Fortis Healthcare reportedly announced in its Annual Report for 2021-2022 that it aims to add more than 1,500 beds in the next five years across Maharashtra, Delhi/NCR, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, among other locations. The multinational healthcare giant currently has about 4,300 operational beds. With this move, Fortis Healthcare intends to expand its presence across these key locations.

During FY 2022-23, the company said it plans to add over 225 beds through brownfield expansion, including a “significant ramp-up” across select facilities. With this expansion, Fortis Healthcare seems steadfast in its commitment toward growth and expansion. Fortis’s healthy cash flows and balance sheet allow it to eye big growth and expansion prospects in the healthcare industry.

COVID-19 took a heavy toll on Fortis Healthcare’s workforce, Chairman Ravi Rajagopal noted. During the pandemic, more than 7,500 employees across the company’s network and many of their family members tested positive and were admitted in Fortis hospitals.

This expansion would not only help the company deepen its presence in key locations but also improve economies of scale in terms of revenue drivers as well as cost.

Meanwhile, on the clinical front, Fortis Healthcare confirmed it will continue to build new medical programs and augment its existing specialties, including cardiac sciences, pulmonology, neurology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, and oncology.

The healthcare major apparently aims to achieve this by onboarding new clinical talent and adding healthcare infrastructure. Additionally, through focused training of ER staff and improved medical infrastructure, the company intends to enhance emergency response across its facilities.

Fortis Healthcare stated that it plans to drive its cost transformation program that will rationalize consumables and drugs’ costs, optimize indirect spend, and improve efficiencies in the capex process. The next several years will also see the company emphasize more focused sales & marketing efforts aimed at large payer mix segments. Besides, the company plans to prioritize medical tourism and pricing reviews across medical facilities and offerings.

Onboarding upskilling new talent, manpower training, upgrading medical infrastructure, and strengthening clinical specialties are all key areas of focus for Fortis Healthcare, Rajagopal noted. He further added that through rapid brownfield investments in bed expansion, the next 3-5 years will see the company add nearly 250 to 300 beds per year, pushing its operational bed capacity to more than 5,000.

Over the course of the next few years, Fortis Healthcare intends to assess and follow inorganic opportunities across its key locations like Maharashtra, Delhi/NCR, Kolkata, and Bengaluru. Upcoming investments in this expansion should augur well for profitability and future business growth of Fortis Healthcare, Chairman Rajagopal believes.

Other key players in the race are also eyeing capacity ramp-ups over the next few years. Apollo Hospitals reportedly aims to add 2,000 beds as per its capex plans for the next 5-6 years. Meanwhile, Max Healthcare and KIMS Hospitals are eying 2,800 and 2,125 new beds, respectively.