For over 30 years, Unity Health Complex has stood as a beacon of hope and a haven of exceptional healthcare. A place where the best and brightest physicians care for their patients with the support of advanced medical equipment and most dedicated staff. It is a hospital driven by a single thrust of providing the highest standards of healthcare to the patients at affordable cost.
Mangalore Today spoke to Mr. Ajmal Habeeb, the Managing Director, about his quest and vision in making Unity - a world class healthcare centre. We take you to the exciting days of turning around the hospital to a multi-specialty healthcare centre. In his words...
“On a Friday, late in the evening, in the summer of ’96, a middle aged man was brought to the hospital, complaining of acute pain in the abdomen. He was admitted in the hospital after preliminary check up by the doctor on duty. The first thought or diagnosis was that the patient could be suffering from appendicitis. He underwent medical tests available in the hospital. Specialists were called in to diagnose and the treatment started. His condition did not improve in two days. The physician felt that further investigation was necessary. He opined that the patient should undergo more sophisticated tests and that was available in Vellore. But the nearest option was Manipal and the patient’s family decided to take the second option.” This incident disturbed me so much that I was feeling defeated and helpless. My colleagues in the hospital did not feel so as they were used to those things.
I am neither a doctor nor was an experienced healthcare specialist. I was asked to help out managing the day today affairs of the hospital. All my life, I had seen my father run a hospital, known to be the best in town and the best doctors attending patients there. As a keen observer and learning hospital affairs for few months, I felt, things were not going well as it should have been. I started looking into details and started learning more about professionally managed hospitals. Visited some of the best healthcare centres and met a few experts in hospital management in other cities. I took a break from the hospital and got myself enrolled at the University of Birmingham, UK for Hospital Management course.
“Everything is happening for good” I thought so bearing in mind the incident that shook me some time back. I did not want a patient to go out of our hospital for want of better facility. We needed to do something fast to save the image of the hospital as well as take it forward in the best interest of the patients and ours. I discussed the situation with my father in detail. The hospital needed an overhaul in its ambience, facilities and management. He was reluctant to take action initially as the entire affair could boomerang in terms of reputation and financial commitment.
Having convinced my father the need for revamping, I set out to find funds for immediate requirements like upgrading medical lab, Radiology department, Operation Theatre and Post-operative ward along with repainting the complex, inside and outside. Advanced medical equipment, sophisticated ICU, Specialised departments, in-house specialists, modern OPD etc were also planned for next level of expansion program. The cost of expansion plan was estimated to be around four crores and it was not easy to get the banker going with us. However, KSIIDC came forward to fund our expansion plan. Rest is history.
We had to terminate the service of some old hands who were unproductive and detrimental. It was a painful affair but it had to be done to clean and re-start the system. We hired a reputed management consultant to train a new management team specifically to match our needs. In few months time, the hospital administration was on the right track. ‘The climb was tough, but the view from top is satisfying’. Today, we have everything that is needed in a super-specialty hospital and the quality competency in healthcare delivery. We have come a long way from mere a nursing home to a well equipped hospital and a contemporary healthcare centre. Nevertheless, we need to keep pace with the ever changing healthcare situation. After all ‘the only constant is change’. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.n
Mr. Ajmal Habeeb
Unity Health Complex
1. How do you see Mangalore growing as a healthcare destination in Karnataka?
After the metros, it is the towns that are experiencing exponential growth in the healthcare segment. Mangalore is developing fast in all dimensions. Banking, education, industry and commerce have taken giant leap in the past two decades. Increasing population, better connectivity and advanced medical facilities are the grounds for the growth of healthcare sector in this region. Previously patients from small towns had to travel to metros to avail high quality treatment, but now, advanced healthcare facilities are available at their doorstep. Times have changed. People are keen on taking preventive healthcare which gives us the scope of healthcare tourism in Mangalore. Towards meeting their needs, we have introduced free medical check-up programs in various specializations at regular intervals.
2. What are the key aspects that have made Unity Hospital a trusted name in the field of medical services in Mangalore?
Our mission is based on values, principles and ethics, aimed at serving the suffering humanity. Unity Hospital is well equipped with the most modern facilities and medical experts providing efficient service to the local residents as well as people from other places in south India. The care that they get here is world-class, at the same time much cheaper. Since inception in 1978, we have gained fame owing to our patient centric treatment, medical expertise, quality of diagnosis and nursing care. We provide healthcare services using advanced technology under expert supervision of highly qualified medical practitioners and specialists in all discipline at an affordable cost.
3. What are the major milestones and achievements by the hospital, since its inception in 1978?
When the Unity Hospital laid its foundation in the year 1978, from the overall architecture to the medical facilities and nursing rooms, we have taken a futuristic approach keeping in mind of expansion necessities. The hospital is located at the heart of the city which has the advantage of convenient access for both inpatients and outpatients. Over the years, we have updated the facilities to keep pace with times.
In the year 1995, we began focusing on modernization and extension in various specialized departments. Setting up an ICU of international standard, Operation Theatre, Emergency day care centre was one of our priorities. Because, we believed that modernization and up-gradation is the key to sustain in the industry and to meet the challenges of the changing times.
Unity Health Complex has been honored with ’Diamond Eye Award for Quality Commitment and Excellence’ and total quality management accreditation for high quality performance and best customer satisfaction. We are committed to offering cutting-edge medical services in the most convenient, comfortable and caring manner.
4. Could you please brief about the unique diagnostic and treatment facilities available at your hospital?
Unity Health Complex has matured into a highly competent hospital with most sophisticated medical equipments available in the world to give advanced health care to the needy. The hospital has six state-of-the-art Operation Theatres which has the facilities for conducting the super specialty operations like joint replacement surgeries, spine surgeries, ENT Surgeries, complex neurosurgery, Maxillo facial surgery etc. The Emergency day care, MICU centre is contemporary with 25 beds, level 1- ICU with a full time emergency and critical care specialist. The hospital is equipped with the state-of-the-art medical equipments such as Multi Slice CT Scanner, totally digitalized X-ray machine, digital mammogram, fully automatic bio chemistry analyzer and fully computerized pathology lab that is ranked at number 72 among 2000 labs in South India. We also have high-end video endoscopes, operating microscope etc. UHC is the first hospital to digitize the entire radiological imaging solutions.
5.What are your expansion plans in the future?
While enhancing facilities and inclusive innovation in UHC, we have plans to go beyond the regional horizons. We have an ambitious plan to become a pan-India player. In response to the changing trends in hospital services, our future plans include expansion of the existing hospital, introduction of surgical oncology unit, commissioning of new hospitals in metros. We also have expansion plans in the field of medical education.
As a part of academic support to the healthcare services, we are already running a modern nursing school for GNM, B.Sc. and M.Sc. nursing approved by the Nursing Council of India and other statutory bodies. We have plans to start Graduation and Post-graduation courses in Hospital Management in addition to Research and Development programs.