Dr Hafeez Rahman Padiyath: In a league of his own.
1. Sunrise Hospital is also known as “Asia’s apex centre for key –hole surgery”. Can you please tell about beginning and growth stages of the hospital?
I would like to say that the story of Sunrise is story of dedication, hard work, incorporating technology and embracing emerging technology and team work. The story of Sunrise is also my story. It intertwined with each other.
Sunrise became functional in 2005, and from its beginning we have invested heavily in new equipments. Sunrise stood out from crowd, given its interior aesthetics, service levels and quality medical care.
2. Tell us more about your education and early days of professional practice?
I was born in Kochi, my father was a store’s manager at FACT, I studied in FACT Ambalamedu High School. My paternal family believes was rather conservative and believed in studying well and earning a job. My mother’s family was a business family. After schooling I joined Calicut Medical College and thereafter pursued my MD in Gynaecology from Gujarat University.
I came back to Kerala in 1992 and joined PVS Hospital Kochi and joined as a consultant gynaecologist, those day endoscopy was at its nascent stages. It was only in 1989, an endoscopic hysterectomy was completed successfully.
I had some prior experience in laparoscopy and I used to do cancer surgeries in Ahmadabad. I became interested in this new practise and imported all required equipments and started practising endoscopic surgeries. As I have told, the practise itself was new, most hospitals did not have the facilities to a laparoscopic surgery. Surgical carbon di oxide is required for a laproscopic surgery, since most hospitals did not have surgical grade carbon di oxide, I used to obtain and carry me with these CO2 cylinders.
Those days were really hectic. I travelled the length and breadth of India to conduct surgeries. Since it was just emerging several doctors was also interested in learning endoscopy. So my trips served two purposes, training doctors and conducting surgeries. I have done more than 80,000 surgeries and it is a world record.
3. Sunrise now operates in several countries. Please tell us about the current network, and your expansion plans?
In India we have one hospital in Kochi, two hospitals in North Kerala, One hospital under development in Alapuzha, We also has a hospital in Delhi and Mumbai. We have also clinics operating in many places. In UAE we have an hospital in Dubai, that is the International Modern Hospital, and have clinics in emirates like Abu Dhabi and Sharjah . We have partner hospitals in Bangladesh and Maldives. We also have hospitals in Congo, Ethiopia and Kenya. So our presence is there in seven countries.
4. What is your vision for Sunrise?
Our vision is to establish 25 state of the art hospitals across the world providing comprehensive healthcare service.
5. What is your secret of success? What is your advice to younger professionals, especially doctors?
a. I believe that what makes one successful in their career is their passion at work. If you are passionate of what you are doing, success will come. For a profession like of surgeon success not just means more and money and career growth. It means that you brought positive change for several people and gave back their happiness. It is more of a fulfilling career.
My advice for younger professionals is to find out their passion and inner calling and work towards it. Considering my experience it a mix of both profession and business and thankfully my wife manages a lion share of that. In fact I am therefore very lucky about that.
6. Is the open surgery format outdated?
a. Yes certainly, open surgeries makes the patient go through unnecessary pain and curing time. It curtails his movement and makes him depended on some for a period of time. If the patient is an earning member, matters become worse. In developed countries insurance companies are asking special reports if the patient has to undertake a open surgery format, to prove that its absolutely essential.
7. Is it more expensive for patient to undergo a laparoscopy?
a. I have answered this question many a times. At first sight it may seem that a laparoscopy is more expensive than an open surgery; mainly because of the expensive equipments, medicines and materials required. You will also need a skilled surgeon to conduct a laparoscopic surgery. But I believe that cost of open surgery should be calculated in three different ways.
First of all the cost incurred to the patient, apart from the hospital charges, there is recovery period of 2-3 months, so there is loss of income. For that time period the patient will be depend on someone else.
Secondly the indirect cost incurred for the patient is very high, so, the economic effectiveness is better, if the person prefers to undergo laparoscopic surgery.
And lastly the cost and incurred to the family and country.
Given all these facts, laparoscopic procedure is the only best option available at present to lead a quality life after the major lap surgery.
8. What are benefits of laparoscopy from a surgeon’s point of view?
a. The technology we are using in an endoscopic surgery is far superior.
The advantages are;
• minimal blood loss during laparoscopic surgery.
• reduced post-operative pain.
• quicker return to normal activities
• better recovery rate
• short hospital stay
• cost advantage over open surgery
9. Patients have now access to a lot of information online. Does that make a surgeon’s job easier or difficult?
I think it’s good that patients are more learned and knowledgeable, this makes a doctors job easier. Thanks to the media for disseminating the awareness on health aspects among the public are noteworthy..
10. In a world where everything is getting commercialized, is it affecting the relationship between doctor and patient?
a. No, I don’t think so people respect this profession
11. How do you take your time off and relax. What are your hobbies?
a. My profession is biggest passion, I also like to paint; it has been a prime hobby from the younger days. I spend time reading. I was interested in Karate in younger days, in fact I am one among the first ten to obtain a black belt in Karate from Kerala.
12. Tell our readers about your family?
a. My Wife Parveen Hafeez and three little girls my little diamond. Parveen is the reason for my rise in profession and business. My girls stood with me and they never complained that I did not spend more time for them.