The Apollo Hospitals group on Wednesday launched a dedicated pediatric arm to provide "comprehensive care" for children at its major facilities, as its chairman Prathap C Reddy expressed hope that it will grow and become "synonymous with the country's 'Heal in India' vision.
In a recorded message delivered on the occasion of the launch here, Reddy also said India today is ready for providing total and specialised care in sub-specialities.
Christened "Apollo Children's", the rebranded service arm of the healthcare giant envisions "to bring 360-degree, comprehensive care, from the stage of an unborn baby to a newborn baby to a child to an adolescent till they reach 18 years, with all specialists coming together", said Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals.
Reddy in his address called it "another major milestone" for the Apollo group which began with the opening of its first hospital in Madras (now Chennai) in 1983.
"From day one, we have paid special attention to children hospital, and then, the mother and child care started about two decades ago, now called 'Cradle', which have become synonymous with great care for pregnant women and newborns," the group's founder and chairman said.
It has been "our mission" since beginning four decades ago, Reddy said.
"We used to say that India is now ready to become a global healthcare destination, and the government termed it and said, 'Heal in India'. I am proud, and many, many achievements, not just for Apollo. A number of good specialities that have developed in about 300 hospitals across the country, makes us say, India today is ready to be ahead of many countries in providing total care, and specialised care, in sub-specialities, in all of these," he said.
Under the 'Heal in India' initiative, the government aims at positioning the country as a global hub for medical and wellness tourism.
The Apollo Hospitals group has a wide network of more than 40 hospitals with over 900 dedicated beds for pediatric care, and a pool of more than 400 specialised pediatricians providing services across more than 25 specialised pediatric care specialities.
"The idea of Apollo Children's is to provide seamless care which includes physical consultation, diagnostic, treatment and also virtual consultation, and follow-ups. It is not about one doctor or two doctors, but also providing psychological and nutritional support, and physiotherapy," Sibal said.
Asked what change it will bring in the Apollo Hospital paradigm for child healthcare, he said, "the change is in thinking, change in providing comprehensive care".
"From blood sampling to examining to diagnostics, we need trained specialists to understand a child's psychology, keep them in a calming and child-friendly atmosphere. So, comprehensive care, super speciality, expertise, state-of-the-art infrastructure, equipment such as cath labs, ICUs, ventilators, is what this service will offer in a comprehensive way, which wasn't earlier," Sibal added.
Reddy in his message recalled how the child care services at Apollo began with heart care, followed by pediatric heart transplant, and said services have been provided to children not only from India, but over 50 other countries.
He emphasised that over 500 pediatric liver transplant surgeries have been conducted across the network of Apollo hospitals.
"And, the state-of-the art technology that we have provided. I hope it grows and becomes synonymous with 'Heal in India'," Reddy said.
The Apollo Children's services were formally jointly launched at a function held in Delhi by a group of children, some of whom were born at hospitals run by the Apollo group, or were treated at its facilities.
A spokesperson of the group said, the major centres of the group are located in seven metros including Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderbad, Ahmedabad and Chennai, besides facilities in various smaller cities.
Apollo Children's will offer specialised interventions for complex medical and surgical pediatric conditions, including congenital disorders, gastrointestinal and liver disorders, neuro-developmntal disorders, cardiac conditions, renal disease, oncology and liver transplants, the group said.
Sibal also mentioned that with cutting-edge treatment, the "first successful child liver transplant was conducted at a Apollo hospital in 1998", and how that child has now grown to become a doctor himself.
Cradle and other facilities for children run by Apollo will all now operate under the umbrella of Apollo Children's, he said.
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