Manipal Hospitals, a group in Bangalore, India, is planning to invest approximately $240m to add another 5,000 beds within the next three years.

The hospital group currently has a network of ten hospitals with 1,600 beds and five medical colleges with a hospital bed strength of 3,300.

Manipal Health Enterprises CEO Dr Rajen Padukone was quoted by VCCircle as saying: "We plan to have total capacity of around 5,000 hospital beds, existing and potential, in India and abroad by 2015-16."

"The hospital group currently has a network of ten hospitals with 1,600 beds and five medical colleges."

"When I say potential, it means that in some of our investments we start off with say a 200-bed capacity but have the option to increase it to say 300 beds.

"Of this, around 3,500-4,000 beds will be in India and 1,000-1,500 beds will be outside India," Dr Padukone added.

The hospital group intends to set up green-field, brown-field or acquired facilities in other parts of India, while it plans to expand its footprint overseas through acquisitions.

Recently, Manipal Hospitals also acquired a 72-bed hospital, a secondary level hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In addition, Manipal is planning to increase its bed capacity from 72 to 500 beds in Malaysia, by setting up a hospital in Malacca and one or two more in Kuala Lumpur in the coming three years.

Manipal is also exploring opportunities to launch and acquire hospitals in the Middle East and Africa as part of its expansion plans.

"In South Africa, we are looking at both education and hospital opportunities. In three years we are looking at a capacity of 1,000 hospital beds," Dr Padukone said.

Manipal Hospitals is part of the Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), which is engaged in the field of education and healthcare delivery.