A special postage stamp in recognition of the contribution of Apollo Hospitals towards Indian healthcare was released by Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology A. Raja here on Monday.

He handed the first stamp to Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Raja said Apollo’s achievement over the last 25 years was no mean feat. It had grown to the stature of an institution that leads by example other healthcare providers in the country.

Apollo is the first and only hospital to receive such recognition from the government.

Mr. Raja also recounted his personal experience as a patient in Apollo Hospitals after an accident in 2001. He said he had to spend over 30 days in the hospital and was “protected as if I was a child in the womb.” No other hospital in the country can compare to Apollo, the minister added.

High standards

Praising Prathap C. Reddy, founder and chairman of Apollo Hospitals, for developing such an institution of high standards, Mr. Raja said Dr. Reddy’s leadership skills enabled him to see what was not apparent to others.

Mr. Stalin said Tamil Nadu was proud of its association with Apollo Hospitals, a chain of institutions known for the quality of its doctors, diagnostic equipment, hygiene, tender care and state-of-the-art treatment facilities. In fact, he added, Apollo was among the hospitals that have contributed to stemming the trend of outbound movement of doctors and specialists from India.

The hospital has also been participating in development programmes charted out by the State government. While Apollo’s Managing Director Preetha Reddy serves on the Disaster Management team constituted by the government, the hospital was part of the Kalaignar Insurance Programme for lifesaving treatment. Releasing the stamp was one way of thanking the Apollo group for over 25 years of service, Mr. Stalin said.

Key aspects

Dr. Reddy said the four key aspects of Apollo’s care were excellent doctors, the best equipment, the tender loving care, and the cost benefit. World class institutions had acknowledged that Apollo has some of the best outcomes, on par with the best, and also that they are providing these facilities at a tenth of the international costs, he added.

In an appeal to the government, Dr. Reddy said the support of the State was needed to go ahead with their proposal to offer treatment through Indian systems of medicine as well. “We want to offer less toxic and expensive cures through Indian traditional medicines. For this, we need the government to say we are with you.”

‘Impetus to reach out’

Suneeta Reddy, executive director, Finance, Apollo Hospitals, said the stamp represented the honour and trust bestowed by over 18 million people who have benefited from Apollo. Health care is critical to the development agenda of a country and for health care to be good, it has to be responsible, effective and equitable. The recognition from the Government of India is an impetus to reach out to at least a billion people all over the country, she added.

M.K. Mani, Chief Nephrologist, Apollo Hospitals, said medicine had become more complex today and team work was the key to success in the practise of modern medicine. Patients have appreciated all aspects of Apollo’s care, particularly its nurses, he added.

M.R. Girinath, Chief Cardio Vascular Surgeon at Apollo, said the initial years were hard, but having packaged treatment as efficient and cost effective, the hospital soon started drawing in patients and the flood has not stopped. Dr. Reddy and Apollo have served as a catalyst for the development of advanced medical facilities in the country, he added.

Earlier, congratulatory messages from the Governor and Chief Minister were read out.

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