Cost remains one of the most important determinants when it comes to accessing healthcare in India. According to the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, the strength of specialized surgical workforce in India stands at 7 per 100,000 people. A report published by Niti Aayog states that only 30-35% of patients undergo surgery in India compared to 60-65% globally. As a high disease burden country, India is expected to see a large number of short elective surgeries but these have yet to become a priority for the masses.
“The high cost of elective surgeries, coupled with the lack of accessibility and lack of quality health care, forces a large number of people in the middle and low income segments to ignore treatments in areas such as proctology, urology, laparoscopy and ophthalmology,” says Bidhan Chowdhury, founder of health tech startup TaCa Healthcare (India). His company proudly claims to be a patient-centric, surgeon-led company that tackles issues of trust, cost, and accessibility for people requiring surgery.
The startup has set up an AI-based technology platform to make general and short-term surgeries affordable and safe. From finding the best doctor and diagnosis process to admission to discharge and post-operative care, the technology platform makes the treatment journey smooth and affordable.
With over two decades of experience in providing cost-effective health solutions for middle and low income groups in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries, Chowdhury was driven by the goal of democratizing surgical care in India. Analyzing the reasons that increase the costs of private surgical care, such as remoteness from major hospitals, fragmentation of supposedly affordable health care infrastructure in small towns, underutilization of surgeons and OT spaces and price shocks, the health tech veteran realized it was possible to bring down surgical costs by nearly 70% for the masses.
TaCa Healthcare incorporates renowned surgeons from Tier I and Tier II cities and even small towns on a full-time basis. This allows patients to stay connected with the doctor they know and trust throughout the treatment process. The company provides them with end-to-end surgical care, offering a range of short-term elective surgeries and procedures, such as gallbladder stone removal surgery, hernia repair/ablation surgery and surgery of piles, fissures and fistulas.
“We are of the view that the surgical healthcare startup ecosystem in India needs to move beyond the healthcare aggregator stage,” says Chowdhury. “We need fully-fledged health technology companies that can innovate in real-time healthcare delivery, addressing the challenges of affordability, trust and safety. Our innovation-driven model has the potential to revolutionize healthcare in India and the rest of the developing world and help governments create self-sustaining secondary care ecosystems,” he adds.
“Using technologies such as AI and MI, we are facilitating revenue growth for patient care and medical facilities, and creating new revenue streams for surgeons,” said Amitoj Singh, CEO of TaCa Healthcare. . The startup is aggressively upgrading surgical infrastructure in Tier II and Tier III cities. “We intend to establish state-of-the-art TaCa Surgery Centers in every nook and corner of the country, enabling people to enjoy high-quality, low-cost surgical care seamlessly,” adds he.
The company, which has some of India’s renowned surgeons and healthcare experts on board, currently operates in seven states – Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, UP, Delhi and Haryana – and plans to cover over 45 cities by the end of this year.