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AT THE FOREFRONT OF CANCER CARE

Cover Story Health and Wellness January 2018

AT THE FOREFRONT OF CANCER CARE

How a doctorpreneur built an empire of cancer care centers, starting from a tiny institute in the garden city of India

Company: Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd

AT THE FOREFRONT OF CANCER CARE 1

Founder: Dr. B S Ajaikumar

Founded: 1989

Centers: 20

Patients treated annually: 1,20,000

Awards & Recognitions

First hospital in India to win the Golden Peacock Award—Innovation Management

Firsts

Asia’s first bloodless bone marrow transplant

India’s first Computer Assisted Tumour Navigation Surgery India’s first to introduce biological reconstruction to treat bone cancer

One man’s dream of fulfilling the unmet and growing demand for cancer care in India. This is the single idea that blossomed into what we know today as HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG). An MBBS graduate from St John’s Medical College, Bengaluru, Dr. B S Ajaikumar, after completing his fellowship in medical and radiation oncology from MD Anderson Hospital, Texas, set up a cancer center in West Chicago.

Though the center flourished, Dr. Ajaikumar had his heart set on opening a cancer center back in his homeland. From across the world, he carefully studied the status of cancer care in India for months together. In 1989, he, along with a group of oncologists, started the Bangalore Institute of Oncology (BIO).

As the institute grew, Dr. Ajaikumar recognized the need for accessible and affordable cancer care in India. To make this a reality, he moved back to India in 2003. By 2005, what had started out as a private hospital in 1989, evolved into HCG, which, today, is branded as The Specialist in Cancer Care.

“I WANTED TO BRING THE HUB-AND-SPOKE MODEL TO CREATE MULTIPLE CENTRES ACROSS INDIA, IN ORDER TO MAKE CANCER CARE AFFORDABLE, AND TO BRING HIGH-QUALITY CARE EVEN IN TIER-2 AND TIER-3 CITIES.”

Dr B S Ajaikumar (Chairman & CEO, HCG)

“I wanted to bring the hub-and-spoke model to create multiple centers across India, in order to make cancer care affordable, and to bring high-quality care even in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities,” says Dr. Ajaikumar, Founder and Chairman, HCG Group. Over the years, HCG has become synonymous with excellent healthcare services and has provided world-class treatment for all types of cancer, through its vast network of comprehensive cancer centers.

By making advanced cancer care a reality for millions of people across the country, HCG is rightly labeled India’s largest provider of cancer care. The group is consistently paving the path towards the future of advanced cancer care. Its mission lies beyond just making cancer care accessible to all and ensuring that patients are cured; the group hopes to ensure that these people live longer and better lives. The patient survival rates and survivor testimonies speak volumes about HCG’s commitment to fulfilling its vision. Going by the total number of its cancer centers licensed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, HCG operates the largest cancer network in the country. Each of its centers offers comprehensive cancer care—across radiation, medical, and surgical oncology—under one roof.

“Today, HCG is operating at full tilt and expanding rapidly. In the coming year and a half, 26 comprehensive cancer care centers will be launched,” says an excited Dr. Ajaikumar. “HCG’s approach is unique because there are no other similar networks of comprehensive centers across India or even across the globe.” The group was instrumental in introducing high-end technologies like CyberKnife™ and TrueBeam™, as well as advanced bone marrow transplant therapies and molecular imaging. Knowing that molecular diagnostics is an important part of cancer therapy, Dr. Ajaikumar acquired Triesta Sciences, a molecular diagnostic laboratory.

With Trieste, HCG provides clinical reference laboratory services across India, specializing in oncology, which includes molecular diagnostic services and genomic testing. The fact that HCG was the first hospital in the world to perform the quickest radiosurgery to treat trigeminal neuralgia, also known as The Suicide Disease, is definitely another feather in its cap. Being the first hospital in India to win the Golden Peacock Award for Innovation Management, and bagging the Most Innovative Single Specialty Healthcare Entity by VCCircle are just a few other laurels to HCG’s credit. “HCG provides unparalleled treatment across all its departments,” says Dr. K S Gopinath, Surgical Oncologist, head & neck cancer, HCG. “We, at HCG, ensure no patient is turned down for financial reasons. We are indeed proud of our experienced team in global oncology.”

Dr. Ajaikumar, who has won CEO of the Year at the Asian Healthcare Leadership Awards and EY Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year, goes the extra mile in ensuring that HCG is always geared for growth. “We will continue to put in all we can to understand the needs of cancer patients, uplift their quality of life, and bring world-class technology within reach,” he says

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