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Indian Hospital
The Walmartisation of medicine
We examine how a Robin Hood approach to medicine has made advanced medical care available to the masses in Bangalore.
Last Modified: 03 May 2012 16:32
This hospital has achieved economies of scale through its huge purchasing power

A series by Paul Roy.

This unique observational documentary series shines a light on Indian society as it is rarely seen. In six one-hour programmes it illuminates the complexities and dilemmas of modern India through the extraordinarily varied lives of patients and medical staff working at the Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital Complex in Bangalore.

This huge hospital comprises a 1,000-bed specialist cardiac unit, a 500-bed eye hospital, a 1,400-bed multi-disciplinary and cancer hospital as well as a combined orthopedic and trauma hospital. They service an average of 7,000 outpatients a day and employ over 5,000 staff.

The series examines how the hospital has made advanced hi-tech medicine available to the masses in the city of Bangalore, as well as the surrounding rural areas where four million farmers are enrolled in an innovative health scheme.

It reveals how the hospital has achieved economies of scale through its huge purchasing power, and through close monitoring of operating costs, innovative staff employment conditions, and developing new models of delivering cost-efficient healthcare. The Walmartisation of medicine - a world first.
 
This hospital is also unique in India in that the very poorest of the poor patients are treated for free or are heavily subsidised by the treatment of rich patients from India and abroad who are charged full fees and have the choice of luxurious accommodation - a Robin Hood approach to medicine.

The series follows the individual stories of both patients and staff. Each person in their own way offers an insight into life in today's India: whether they live in a shed on a building site, or a modern high-rise apartment; whether they are a heart surgeon, a floor cleaner or a slum dweller; a successful businessman or a person getting by taking in washing; Hindu, Muslim or Jain. What they have in common is they have been drawn to this hospital and their lives will be forever  touched by it.


Watch six one-hour episodes of a unique observational documentary Indian Hospital offering a rare insight into the complexities and dilemmas of modern India.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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