Columbia Asia Medical Director visits Duke University Back to News
Dr. Nandakumar Jairam, the chairman and the medical director of Columbia Asia hospitals in India, participated in a panel on Indian health care at Duke University over the weekend.Dr. Jairam was part of a six-person panel Sunday entitled “India’s Evolving Health Care System; Navigating a Brave New World” at the Duke India Business Forum at the Fuqua School of Business.
“The need for expanding health care in India grows with the speed of our economy," Dr. Jairam said. "India has a highly educated and productive population that understands the need for better care.”
Dr. Jairam added that India’s health care needs are growing at a rate of better than 12 percent a year, and the country will need 750,000 new hospital beds by 2012.
The doctor’s message comes from firsthand experience in expanding health care to the growing segment of middle-income professionals in India who are demanding better health care. Columbia Asia, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Columbia Pacific, has seven modern medical facilities operating in India, with plans for 10 new hospitals there by the end of next year.
Columbia Asia hospitals are known for their cleanliness and modern design and for being located in neighborhoods near where patients live or work, rather than in central cities. Doctors, some of whom have been trained and have practiced in the U.S., are bringing Western health practices to India while respecting the Indian culture.
Columbia Asia operations in India are managed by an Indian team, with Dr. Jairam responsible for medical care.
“I hope what we are doing at Columbia Asia is establishing a new standard of care in India," Dr. Jairam said. "Our clean and modern facilities, combined with our skilled medical professionals, allow us to bring better care at an affordable price.“
Dr. Jairam said Columbia Asia plans to grow not just in India but other fast-developing Asian countries.
“The need is immense,” he said. “We are able to build a good business while providing much-needed care. It is a very rewarding experience.”
Dr. Jairam is a graduate of Bangalore Medical College and previously served as medical director of Mallya Hospital and professor and head of surgery at St. John’s Medical College Hospital in Bangalore before joining Columbia Asia six years ago. As a highly respected physician, he has spoken all over India and he also spoke at the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin conference last year in Orlando, Florida.