Monday, June 22, 2009

Ryan Pyle Blog: Aravind Hospitals in India


In January 2008 I made contact, through a close friend, at the Aravind Hospital in Maduri, Tamil Nadu in southern India. I think it important to stop here and say that I had never been interested in working in India until this point, because I felt like it was so well covered and so well traveled that I might not have much more to offer on the subject. But I was wrong, and it took the Aravind hospitals to inspire me to think differently.

Aravind hospitals originated in 1976 with the mission of "eliminating needless blindness", what a mission statement!

The Aravind hospital in Maduri is the largest eye care center in the world. Located amongst the rural Indians who need eye care services most, Aravind is committed to fighting the barriers of distance, poverty and ignorance to provide compassionate eye care to some of the world's poorest people. In a banner 12 month people over 2.3 million out patients were treated and some 270,444 surgeries were performed.

The hospital itself is a massive operation of eye care, in the few days I spent there the hospitals were teaming, the crowds were well managed and the care people recieved was incredible. Perhaps even more incredible is the fact that Aravind runs two hospitals in Madui, one pay hospital and one free hospital; and they are side by side. Patients can essentially choose which hospital they would like to visit and pay accordingly, the care received is exactly the same. It's a far cry from the Chinese health care system where the moment you enter the hospital a nurse asks you if you would like to the "expensive" doctor or the "cheap" doctor.

So Aravind does about two thirds of its surgeries for free and one third for a fee, and on this business model they are profitable as well as serving the public, and creating one of the most efficient eye surgeon training programs which has a waiting list from doctors around the world.

Case studies by Havard Business school have made Aravind a low cost, high volume, high quality model for health care around the world. Above is a slide show of my work from my few days in wonderful Maduri. I'm planning on returning to India often in the coming years as I am fascinated by the differences in growth, development and religion between India and China.

Aravind Hospital

If you google Aravind Hospital you'll get a bunch of hits you can search through.

Ryan Pyle

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This is Ryan Pyle. I appreciate you adding a comment to my blog and I hope that this space has offered you something useful and interesting. I look forward to staying in touch and I'm glad you took the time to comment.

Ryan Pyle