Lanka Hospitals expects shift to government hospitals

By Madhusha Thavapalakumar

Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC, one of the largest private hospitals in the country, said it expects the short-term drop in disposable income caused by Covid-19 to lead certain segments of their customers to opt for government healthcare.

Nevertheless, they projected to recover in the medium and long-term along with the gradual recovery of economic activity, Lanka Hospitals Director – Medical Services and Acting Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Wimal Karandagoda stated in a disclosure to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Tuesday (26).

During the prolonged islandwide curfew spanning March, April, and May, the hospital endured a significant impact on patient volumes and occupancies, resulting in a sharp drop in revenue, Dr. Karandagoda revealed.

The disclosure noted that the hospital had made Rs. 6.1 billion in revenue from contracts with customers in 2019 compared to Rs. 5.7 billion in 2018, while the group made Rs. 7.5 billion in revenue from contracts with customers in 2019 compared to that of Rs. 7 billion a year ago.

Dr. Karandagoda noted that their main priority at the moment will be maintaining the group’s liquidity position, curtailing non-essential expenses, and minimising losses.

This comes a few days after Nawaloka Hospitals PLC, another one of the largest private hospitals in Sri Lanka, disclosed to the CSE that it experienced low revenue during the curfew period due to the lack of public transport for customers, preventing them from reaching availing the hospital’s services. He went on to state that the international travel restrictions also eliminated revenue from foreign patients.

Lanka Hospitals commenced operations in Sri Lanka in 2002 under the brand name Apollo, which was part of the chain of Apollo Hospitals that was later changed to Lanka Hospitals. Dr. B. Wijesiriwardhana is the Group Chairman and the group was listed in the CSE in January 2003 and remains one of the largest private hospitals in the country.