“While the city has good medical facilities and is all set to come up with a full-fledged health city, it city still lacks skilled manpower in the hospital sector. The time has come to hire from or collaborate with experts from each and every sector,” Omni Hospitals CEO, Dr Sukumar Chitturi told TOI.
Hospital and hotel executives said the idea of collaborating with restaurants of reputed hotels was first conceived during the lockdown. Up until then, hospitals were running their own kitchen units through outsourced catering services or procuring meals directly from caterers.
However following the announcement of the lockdown, several catering services failed to provide services to hospitals. As a result, managements started procuring meals from hotels whose kitchens were catering to quarantined travellers coming to Andhra Pradesh from high-risk states and abroad.
“Covid-19 was a learning experience as we started preparing meals for quarantined travellers and patients. We started researching and preparing foods that would boost immunity and was ideal for patients. It opened up a new avenue for us and some of the hospitals we were catering to gave us a contract to supply meals for the next one year,” Daspalla Executive Court general manager, Sanjib Karmakar, told TOI.
Executives on both sides claimed that there were several advantages to this system. Hotels, whose business had been hit hard due to pandemic, have started offering services at competitive rates. With many patients coming from Odisha and Chhattisgarh, many hospitals and medicine shops have placed displays in the states’ native languages. Even hospitals have started placing orders as per their patients’ palettes.
“Earlier, we were supplying only local cuisine and many patients from other states were not satisfied. However, now we have started ordering two types of meals — south Indian and north Indian. With time, we will elaborate the menu,” said Dr Chitturi