In our latest exclusive interview, Health Issues India discussed with Hope Hospital founder and managing director Dr B. K. Murali. We discussed their vision, how they adapted and continue to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, their work in addressing the outbreak, and more. The interview can be found below. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Could you introduce Hope Hospital and yourself?
Talking about Hope Hospital, it is a NABH-accredited hospital that has a long history of providing high-quality health care & clinical excellence. A 200+ bed hospital located in central India, Hope Hospitals takes pride in delivering exceptional patient care. Succeeding at two locations across Nagpur, through the allocation of appropriate services, we are committed to improving the community’s health status by providing a full spectrum of health care services, facilitating maximum benefits for its patients in the form of routine and emergency surgical and trauma services. Hope Hospitals provides a full range of infirmary services for the community in central India, as well as specialist care for patients from further afield.
I envisioned transforming patient care and improving healthcare and therefore worked in accordance to put my experience into the best strategic vision establishing Hope Hospitals. I am the founder and managing director of Hope Hospitals with experience of twenty years in orthopaedics and considered a prominent face in the field of joint replacement in India. I am the winner of the Open innovation challenge of the IIGP – India Innovation Growth Program, the highest national award for innovation in India. I pioneered Nagpur’s first revision joint replacement centre in KRIMS Hospital in 2005. I am also an alumnus of Government Medical College, Nagpur, and have obtained an M.S. in orthopaedics from J.S.S. Medical College, Mysore.
How did Hope Hospital come to be – what inspired you?
It is a journey that matches your thoughts as you can say. I saw thousands of patients going out of Nagpur for their critical care treatment or specialised treatment. There was a considerable lack of reliable source of treatment here. It was an opportunity in one way and my moral obligation in another to create that facility in Nagpur where we could train our doctors, do our research, and treat our patients at almost one-tenth the cost.
We started Hope Hospital as a fifty-bedded hospital initially in 2004 which now has transcended to 200+ beds. We expertise to take care of exceptional, complex and acute general orthopaedic, knee and hip replacement, arthroscopy, neurosurgery, trauma service, faciomaxillary surgery, any emergency treatment like cardiac care, critical care, and burns.
We have pioneered advanced and invasive techniques in orthopaedics along with critical care and neurosurgery. Being the only centre for yellow fever vaccination in central India offers a unit of subspeciality service, advanced technology, and comprehensive services.
With sufficiently equipped operation theatres and intensive care units (ICUs) including acclaimed pre- and post-operative care. Our advanced orthopaedic unit helps us carry out the operative surgeries like specialised disc, total knee and hip joint replacement, complex neuro, arthroscopic, angioplasty and cardiac. So clearly, we have come a long way, and I am still motivated every day to keep going.
You perform several roles as a company. What are these areas and motivated your focus on these particular areas of patient care?
Since I am the founder and managing director of the hospital, I juggle between being a surgeon and taking care of the administrative process. I believe one can never learn enough, hence these responsibilities bring the best out of me. This hospital for me is a collaboration of passion and evolution. I head a team of the best orthopaedic and trauma surgeons. The team has successfully held its credibility as the best hospital for knee, hip, and spine surgery in India. I have also successfully set up a cloud-based hospital business system that assists in acquiring hospital-specific accreditation. I am also the managing director of DrMHope, a software and an innovative business model that distributes hospital management software on a subscription basis and has been tested and certified under the ONC HIT Certification Program to 2014 Edition certification criteria by The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), USA.
I am constantly in transition with a highly skilled team of orthopaedics, intensivists, and neurosurgeons transforming the lives of thousands of patients each day and creating awareness on the issues medical science has come up with even at these unprecedented times of pandemic and with efficient solutions every time. We work in a complementary nature with each other for the total recovery and satisfaction of their patients.
How have you weathered the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the second wave?
India has crossed the important milestone of a Covid positivity rate of less than five percent for fifteen consecutive days [editor’s note: at the time of this interview], so that’s a good sign on the second wave front. However, talking about the experience of the second wave, I saw most of the patients from rural areas around Nagpur. Rural areas were the worst-hit by the second wave of COVID-19. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, we were prepared to take care of patients and have helped more than 1500+ patients in this one year. Vaccines will eventually normalise the pandemic. However, lives will never be the same. That’s for sure.
Orthopaedics is an area of focus for you – what areas do you focus on in this sector?
As mentioned above, I have experience of twenty years in orthopaedics. I specialise in undertaking joint replacement surgeries, total hip replacements, and spine surgeries. I am an orthopaedic surgeon and have successfully treated patients with complex fractures and polytrauma cases. I have pioneered the bilateral joint replacement of the knee and hip joints and replacements with the vision of early mobility and the fastest recovery.
You are working to address the worrying trend of rising cases of mucormycosis, or ‘black fungus’. Could you expand on your efforts in that field?
Yes, we are preparing ourselves well and have treated over fifty patients with black fungus in the last two months. We have lodged / equipped ourselves with all modern facilities and a team of ENT, faciomaxillary, and ophthalmic surgeons who have experience in treating various complications of Bosco with syndromes including black fungus. We have a team who have treated the various complications of Bosco with syndrome including black fungus. We have an excellent operation theatre with all modern facilities which is very well-equipped to treat black fungus. We have treated nearly fifty patients of black fungus in the last two months.
What other ways have you been lending a helping hand to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in India?
Our extremely trained and expert paramedical staff has been an asset for society and Hope Hospital itself in rendering us supportive hands in dealing with the pandemic. We have also incorporated a skill centre intending to train individuals in the paramedical field with supported guidance that too at very minimal rates. Hope Hospital has been a recognised vaccination centre and we have been involved in charitable work before. We came up with the initiative of distributing food and grocery packages to the needy.
The Hope Institute, a unit of Hope Hospital has been registered as a Medical-Vocational Training Program listed by the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra for the Chief Minister’s Maha Arogya Skill Development Training Program through Green Channel. Under this programme, widows and children of policemen who lost their lives will be trained to fulfil the acute shortage of human resources in the paramedical field of treatment of covid diseases in the state of Maharashtra. The program will skill those aged eighteen to 44 years, choosing from the thirty courses available.
Do you have anything you wish to add?
Hope Hospital has never lost track of raising a contributing hand towards the growth and support of society and the nation. We shall continue in our efforts in every step to come and shall work together in marking our vision towards a cooperative, convenient and evolving community. Hope Hospital believes in spreading hope and shall continue to do the same in all the endeavours to come.
Read more of Health Issues India’s exclusive interviews with thought leaders in health and policy here.