It is difficult to access paediatric and maternity care in India. Infant and maternal mortality rates are high, and India’s current paediatric hospitals cover less than 10 per cent of the estimated requirement. These specialist children’s hospitals only represent five per cent of all hospitals in the country, compared with 40 per cent in the UK and US.
Rainbow Hospitals is a paediatric and maternity hospital chain based in southern India. The company is pioneering paediatric care in India. It is providing specialist services for children that were previously not available in the country and successfully performing rare procedures. Last year it treated more than 1,000 critically ill children.
The modern facilities available at Rainbow Hospitals, and the team environment it provides, attract top doctors who are originally from India but who have been working in the UK and US. They’re bringing back the knowledge, skills and experience that will raise standards in Indian healthcare.
"In the UK and other countries, there are Indians who are trained and who want to come back to their country and participate in improving the healthcare of children. There is a need for people who are trained, and who have the knowledge and expertise, for them to come back and set up services here which will benefit our children."
How CDC's investment supports Rainbow
CDC invested US$17.5 million in Rainbow Hospitals in 2013, and is helping the company to expand to new locations. In the last year, new hospitals have opened in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The new hospital in Bengaluru is the first specialist children’s hospital in a city of 10 million people. Rainbow Hospitals has plans to open new hospitals in other Indian cities, such as Chennai, in the near future.
CDC’s investment is also supporting the company’s growth as a large employer in southern India. When CDC invested, the company directly employed 1,000 people, and this has since increased to 1,600 employees.
How Rainbow Hospitals strengthens healthcare standards
Dr Samatha Sonnappa is a Paediatric Pulmonologist (a specialist in children’s respiratory health) at Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Bengaluru. She recently joined Rainbow Hospitals from Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK, where she worked for the last 14 years.
Originally from Bengaluru, the main reason she considered moving back to the city was because Rainbow Hospitals offered the opportunity to work in a specialist children’s hospital. She was attracted by the fact that she would be working with a full team of paediatric specialists, including paediatric doctors, nurses and support staff.
Dr Sonnappa has specialist skills in her area of paediatric pulmonology. These specialisms are not taught to trainee Indian doctors. She is able to use her expertise to train other doctors in this particular field of paediatric medicine.
"In India there are no certified sub-specialist training programmes for paediatricians. If a junior doctor who’s trained in paediatrics wants to specialise in paediatric pulmonology and they come along to be a fellow at Rainbow Hospitals, I have the expertise, the skill, and the equipment required to train this youngster to become a fully-fledged paediatric pulmonologist."