It has always been former Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata’s vision to create a super speciality hospital for pets. Inspired by his quest to find advanced medical care for his injured pet dog, Ratan Tata is about to launch a new animal hospital chain in Mumbai. The vision is to create India’s first state-of-the-art Small Animal Hospital in Mahalaxmi, Mumbai.

Key Points To Note About Ratan Tata’s Animal Hospital:

  • Spread over 2.2 acres and costing Rs 165 crore, this hospital is said to open in the first week of March 2024.
  • It will be one of India’s few 24×7 hospitals catering to small animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets.
  • The facility will span over 98,000-square-foot, across 5 floors with a capacity of over 200 beds.
  • It will provide round-the-clock services through pet-sensitised veterinarians, nurses and technicians trained to deliver quality care with a mission to save lives. 

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The Journey To Build It

Ratan Tata is a strong believer in the fact that pets are no different from other family members. If anyone would recognise the need for such a hospital, it’s him. “Pets are our family and their lives matter to every pet parent. When I looked around and saw the lack of infrastructure for pets in India, it made me wonder why in such a large country with a significant pet population we cannot have a facility that can save lives and make pet lives better,” Tata said.

He looked back at his experience of flying his injured pet to the University of Minnesota in the US for a joint replacement. It made him realise the importance of a world-class veterinary hospital. He envisioned starting a hospital of that stature here, in his own country. However, he could only start working on the project after retiring as chairman of Tata Sons in 2012.

Despite various obstacles, Tata’s dream of building this veterinary hospital is finally about to come true. The Tata Trusts’ portfolio includes renowned institutions such as Tata Memorial Hospital, NCPA, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Indian Institute of Science-Bengaluru. And this largest-of-its-kind animal hospital in India will be the latest addition to its illustrious portfolio.

Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Thomas Heathcote, Chief Veterinary Officer, AVCF, said, “As one of India’s leading philanthropic institutions, we acknowledge the interconnected links between human health and animal health, and are committed to enhancing the quality of pet healthcare in the country.”

The hospital which is set to launch in phases will cover comprehensive advanced healthcare for pets across the continuum, right from consultation and diagnostics, to treatment, to high level nursing care, and resolution of their problems” he added.

According to a veterinarian based in Chembur, “The current healthcare infrastructure for animals is still inadequate. And this hospital, coming from the Tatas, will be a blessing as vets will not think twice before recommending pet parents there.”

The Location

Initially planned in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai, the hospital was moved to a more central location to reduce the commute time for pet owners in Mumbai. However, this relocation resulted in delays in getting the necessary approvals and permissions. Covid-19 also impacted the construction of the hospital, causing further delays. The hospital is now situated on the land allocated by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to Tata Trusts’ Advanced Veterinary Care Facility (AVCF) in Mahalaxmi. 

Services Offered

The five-storey Tata hospital with a capacity for 200 patients, will be led by Dr Thomas Heathcote. He is a British veterinarian who has specially relocated to Mumbai for this project. The hospital has tied up with five UK veterinary schools, including the Royal Veterinary College London for training.

It will offer surgical, diagnostic and pharmacy services, along with multidisciplinary care for small animals. Bombay House, the headquarters of Tata Group, has an exclusive kennel for strays from the area. The new hospital will also house a dedicated facility to cater solely to the welfare of stray dogs, run by an NGO.

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The hospital will have facilities like:

  • Emergency & Critical Care – 24×7 triage and treatment services
  • Inpatient and ICU units (including isolation units)
  • Surgical Services (Soft Tissue Surgery, Orthopedics etc.)
  • Pharmacy Services
  • Support Functions such as Diagnostics – Radiology & Imaging (MRI, X-Ray, CT Scan & USG), Laboratory – Hematology, Microbiology, Cytology, Clinical Pathology, Biochemistry, Histo-pathology and Anesthesia.

Ratan Tata expressed his personal dream of having a state-of-the-art animal health centre in the city, which will be a resource for pet owners and anyone who comes across distressed animals. He is now making it come true. The hospital will help save lives and cure diseases.