Hindustan Latex, Acumen Fund to build hospitals in India

Hindustan Latex, Acumen Fund to build hospitals in India

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Thiruvananthapuram: Hindustan Latex Ltd (HLL), a public sector undertaking under the union health and family welfare ministry, and Acumen Fund, a non-profit venture philanthropy fund, Tuesday announced the formation of a joint venture (JV) to build a chain of small hospitals across India.

The JV, Life Spring Hospitals Pvt Ltd, plans to construct 30 hospitals each with 20 to 25 bed capacity by 2010 to provide low-income clients access to maternal and child health care services.

HLL has an annual production capacity of 1.32 billion condoms and Acumen Fund invests in social enterprises addressing poverty in South Asia and Africa.

"The (JV) company would be a 50:50 equity partnership between Acumen and HLL. It was recently incorporated here with an authorised capital of 200 million ($5 million). Acumen's initial equity investment would be 78.3 million," HLL chief managing director M. Ayyapan told reporters here.

Life Spring will open five hospitals in 2008 and thirty across India by the end of 2010.

"Acumen Fund is excited to be working with HLL in this joint effort to provide affordable access to high quality maternity and child health care services in India," said Jacqueline Novogratz, chief executive officer of Acumen Fund.

"The Life Spring model holds enormous potential to scale not only in India but also serve as a global model for increasing access to qualitative and affordable health care for the world's poor," Novogratz said.

More than 100,000 women lose their lives in India every year due to pregnancy-related complications and an equal number suffer moderate to severe infections, according to studies on medicare facilities in the country.

"HLL is committed to the health and well being of every member of India's society. Our investment in Life Spring will help ensure that, regardless of income, mothers and children from the economically weaker segment in our country will receive the critical health care services they need," Ayyapan said.

"The emergence of Life Spring as a chain of high-quality and affordable maternity hospitals designed to serve the low-income population of India will bring new hope to thousands of families," said Anant Kumar, head of Life Spring.

Life Spring charges would be 30-50 percent of the prevailing market rates. For instance, a Life Spring hospital will charge 1,499 for a normal delivery compared to average prevailing market price of over 5,000.
Source: IANS
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