Shahid Akhter, the editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Dr. Vikram Shah, Chairman & Managing Director, Shalby Multispeciality Hospitals, to know more about current trends in orthopedic surgery and the need for centers of excellence.
Orthopedic surgery: Trends
Orthopedics Surgery has five major sub-specialties such as joint replacement, sports injuries, spine, trauma, pediatric orthopedics. They all are progressing rapidly and advancement in replacements is expected to bring promising results for the next 25 years or so.
There are various types of implants that are available today which have the potential to tackle almost all kinds of cases. We havenâ€™t rejected a single case in the last 20 years since implants were available even for polio cases and we were able to give them a better quality of life. Because of the skill and the nature of the implants that are available today, we are able to operate on patients aged from 20 to 100 years. Post-surgery, they recover very well and can go home to enjoy a good life.
By applying our own Zero Technique in surgeries, patients are virtually painless, post their operation and they are able to walk within a couple of hours post-surgery. They are even able to take the staircase within a day or two post their surgery. If the surgery included a single joint, the patient can go home within 3-4 days and the infection rate is one of the lowest in the world.
Shalby Hospital: Idea, inception, India, I visited several trust hospitals and observed that they all had a mediocre setup. None of them had any class hundred OTs, laminar flows, body exhaust suits, nor were they interested in orthopedics as a fraternity. Everyone was focused on conducting cardiology or cardiac surgeries. I was left with no option but to build my own nursing home that would develop class hundred OT, laminar flows, and body exhaust suits. Body exhaust suits are similar to a spacesuit that we wear to prevent any infection spread to the patient.
To be honest, I was compelled to start the nursing home because none of the hospitals were willing to invest money, effort, or time in building such an infrastructure with such operating theatre requirements. I was mentally not prepared to start a nursing home since my previous work in the UK and the US was in hospitals that provided all the necessary amenities and facilities to a surgeon. However, when I started my nursing home here, I had to additionally manage the staff and also take care of government formalities. However, with time I began to get used to the setup and started even enjoying it.
All of the Shalby hospitals have the best-in-class operation theatres and top-class backup facilities. All are geared with backup equipment in case of any equipment failure. This is helpful where even if you drop some instrument, another set of instruments is always available. All our hospitals are NABH & NABL accredited with surgeons who are trained by us. Unlike many other hospitals who set up the infrastructure and work with surgeons who are either available locally or have surgeons from other places; we train our surgeons at our mother institute and then have them go back to their cities and work in our hospitals. These surgeons are highly skilled and experienced.
Shalby Hospital: Future plan
Our future plans are focused on growing even further in the coming years. Currently, we have 11 hospitals from Mohali to Goa and Jabalpur to Ahmedabad. We have also started the Shalby Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence (SOCE). This is based on an asset franchise model where those with assets like 10,000 to 20,000 sq.ft of land in various cities & towns can partner with us to open our orthopedic excellence centers on a franchise basis. This model is similar to KFC or Mcdonalds’ where we donâ€™t invest in real estate and they donâ€™t need to invest in expertise. We train their people and provide our trained surgeons for each of these Centres. We have already started such Centres in Udaipur and Ahmedabad each and have signed up another one in Rajkot. At the current pace, we hope to activate about 50 such Centres within the next 2-3 years. This approach will help us to expand very rapidly. It took us nearly 10-15 years to build 11 hospitals since acquiring real estate in the country is very expensive. The franchise model will enable us to grow faster and expand across the country. This model will eventually help us spread our expertise in training more surgeons while creating employment opportunities for the locals. Our plan is to build a successful model here and then replicate it to countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.
We have bought a company in California, USA, that manufactures best-in-class joints, knee joints, hips joints, revision surgery joints since I wanted to move away from our dependence on imports for these joints. This company has over 50 patents that we can utilize and is already selling joints in America and Japan. Once we get the Indian FDA approval, we will be selling these joints to our hospitals and other Indian hospitals across India. Post this, we plan to sell these joints in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. These joints are best in class and over the last 31 years, they have implanted nearly 60,000 hips and 40,000 knees. In its 31 years since inception, they have had a zero implant recall, which is a very big achievement given that the FDA USA has not recalled a single implant for the company. The company manufactures very high-quality products and we will be participating in the Make in India initiative of our Prime Minister since we now own the patents to make these joints in India.