After the global community was impacted by the severe pandemic, the importance of healthcare and healthcare technology has been felt more than ever before. In recent years healthcare has become an integral part of the business ecosystem in India. While healthcare itself is a very noble profession and majorly contributes to humanity, successful healthcare entrepreneurs are making a valuable contribution to the economies around the world. Medicircle presents Top CEOs of the healthcare fraternity series wherein and we are featuring eminent healthcare CEOs who are influential role models so that they can share their views about their organization’s journey and about the future of the healthcare industry.
Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala is the Chief Executive Officer at Wadia Hospitals - Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital and Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai. She has experience for than 35 years in the healthcare industry. She has received more than 200 national and international awards for her exemplary work. She has played an instrumental role in bringing a positive transformation at Wadia Hospitals. She shows immense compassion towards underprivileged women as well as children and works for them with dedication, excellence, innovation, and sustainable vision. Wadia Hospitals being a charitable hospital provides quality, safe and affordable health care at par with the top hospitals to the underprivileged women and children. Dr. Minnie has played a major role in the relief and rehabilitation programs during the covid 19 pandemic. She has been a guiding force in initiatives like building COVID wards, increased critical care, and a lot of other facilities like equipment, hot meals, groceries, etc. to families affected by pandemic. With her initiatives, high standards of health care have been achieved.
Experience, ability to handle challenges, and teamwork matters
Dr. Minnie mentions, “In my career of more than 35 years, I have been through many challenges in the healthcare domain. My forte is handling challenges. Speaking of one such challenge, when I joined Wadia Hospitals as the CEO, I was a little stunned to see the condition of the hospital, which was on the verge of closure. It was difficult for me at that time and I had to strategize and get things done in order to get this hospital moving and alive. As it is a public trust hospital, we have funds which are provided by the government and corporation, which is sometimes difficult to get going, but with the efforts of my teammates, we have been able to sail across.”
The approach towards healthcare should be holistic to resolve issues of affordability, availability, and accessibility
Dr. Minnie points out, “Any healthcare should have a holistic approach, which should comprise affordability, accessibility as well as availability as key components. Government programs, with such an approach, should be initiated with proper policy in place. Apart from these three things the government should also focus on artificial intelligence as that is going to keep things moving forward especially in these pandemic times. So, a stronger approach by the government, as well as the private sectors is required. Private sector healthcare is not affordable for every patient. But if certain policies are incorporated, private sector hospitals can become equally affordable. In addition to this, though the costs of healthcare provided by the government sector hospitals are at lower rates; the quality of services should be better. I am happy to say that at Wadia Hospitals we have been able to achieve a quality service with the components of affordability and accessibility attached to it!"
The successful journey of Wadia Hospitals
Dr. Minnie says, “I am privileged to be the CEO of two Wadia Hospitals, which are for mother and child. I think it is a rare concept, which was brought around in the year 1926. Today it’s a temple of learning for paediatricians from all over India. It is also a Referral Centre for maternity and paediatric care. When I joined, it was only around 300 beds in the maternity and 300 beds in the children's sector. We had only 19 bedded NICU, which was on the verge of closure. We lacked equipment. We lacked infrastructure. We lacked manpower. It was difficult to get all three. Today, what we have is 155 bedded NICU which is one of the best ones in the world. So, you can imagine from a 19 bedded NICU, which is the heart of any paediatric hospital, to a 155 bedded NICU, what must have been the effort that the team has put in to get this! We also started other critical care units which are cardiac, neurology, nephrology, and transplants. In children's hospital, we have more than 250 critical care beds which are approximately 50% of the total beds, which no other hospital in India at a single destination offers. The best part of this is the affordability and accessibility factors. Even if there is no space, we try to make space, we try to stabilize a patient. So that is the credibility of these institutions,” she says.
What can be done better in the healthcare sector of India?
Dr. Minnie, emphasizes, “India has always been lagging in healthcare. We have seen this during the COVID situation. I think normally a country would spend around 6 to 8% of total GDP on healthcare. India is very much behind. Spending which is there at present should be elevated. Also, we need to see that we provide preventive health care. It is very important. If preventive health care exists, then even if we have lower spending, it does not matter but we are not having preventive health care at all. It includes the infrastructure, equipment, as well as manpower. So, I think that is something which the government has to work on. It's not just the government, I think all the healthcare institutions in the nation should come together as one. Whether it is private, government or charitable; all should come together and work towards the same goal,” says she.
(Edited by Amrita Priya)