The Apollo Hospitals Group has been shortlisted by Britain's National Health Service (NHS) to bid for four geographical areas in the UK where it could provide diagnostic services.
Long waiting lists at the NHS had forced it to outsource some of its operations to cut the delay faced by its patients, reports the Business Line.
The diagnostic support covers radiology, including CT scan, MRIs, X-rays, endoscopy, ultra-sound and so on.
'Our bidding team is in London and we expect the bid to be completed by February. The outcome will be known by April,' said K. Padmanabhan, Group-President, Apollo Hospitals.
The bid for diagnostic services is the first wave and Apollo is also participating in the second wave of bids for treatment of surgeries.
Winning the bids would mean that Apollo would run additional facilities 'on site' in the UK and this would keep at bay any rancor in terms of losing local jobs to outsourcing, he explained.
The NHS is not selling any of its facilities. Healthcare companies looking to participate in the NHS' outsourcing initiative will have to set up its own facilities to supplement the existing work and cover the back-log. No other Indian healthcare provider was in the fray.
'We have received the bid papers for one (London and Greater London) of the four areas that we have been shortlisted for and are awaiting the other three,' Mr Padmanabhan said.
Apollo looks to participate in the NHS initiative along with a local partner who provides info-tech services for the healthcare sector, he said. Apollo would support the initiative with its clinical expertise. There will not be any investment from Apollo.
At a time of medical tourism, when overseas patients are flying to India to get treatment, participating in the NHS initiative is a high-profile milestone for the Indian healthcare provider, observed a representative with the segment.
The Apollo Group is also participating in bids to carry out treatment surgeries, expected to happen around January/February. The requirement would become clear then, he said
While there is no waiting list in NHS' emergency procedures, he said, other segments have delays between six months to five years.