Date: 10th December 2015
We love to share stories where someone is doing something enterprising but philanthropic at the same time. It turns out that a journalist client of ours loves to share this type of story too. So we’d like to tell you about a project that involves an Indian hospital that is like no other, a journalist named Paul Roy, and a Kickstarter campaign.
In 2012 Paul Roy made a television documentary series, Indian Hospital for Al Jazeera English which looked at the remarkable Narayana Health Hospital in Bangalore, India where profit and free medicine sit side by side. The hospital was conceived and built by gifted cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty, formerly personal physician to Mother Teresa for the last 5 years of her life.
The hospital never turns anyone away – ever and all patients are treated as equals – regardless of finances, religion, race, caste, background or social status. Yet, through economies of scale and astute and revolutionary business practices the hospital makes a 9% profit combined with a remarkable philanthropic approach which results in 15-20% of operations being performed for free and a further 30-40% for very reduced fees.
Dr Shetty’s innovative approach to high-end quality medicine on an industrial scale could change hospital healthcare globally. And bring affordable treatment to the masses.
During Paul Roy’s time there, one of India’s richest men and a $2 a day field worker received a similar cardiac operation on the same day, in the same theatre, with the same staff and equipment. The only differences were the rich man paid (and left a sizeable donation) and the poor man paid nothing.
The field worker’s operation was sponsored by one of the many charitable trusts initiated by the hospital and funded by local businessmen and philanthropists and through the implementation of various very low-cost insurance schemes.
Narayana is a hospital with a difference, determined to make a difference.
Paul Roy is determined to make a difference in the way journalists know best, by spreading the good word about what the hospital does. He intends to write a book, A Very Indian Hospital, and to this end, he needs to finance the work. So he’s set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise NZ$42,375 by 12 January 2016.
“I will be funding much of this book myself from my film work and I will not be drawing a wage for the research or writing periods. My Kickstarter goal has been budgeted to cover travel, accommodation, translator’s fees and very basic living expenses over 2 years.
“Although my book is unlikely to effect change on the grand scale of Dr. Shetty, I hope at least to inform readers of the work of this innovative hospital and its global health implications through the enthralling personal stories of the men and women at Narayana Health.
“Like India itself, it is the people that make Narayana Health truly incredible and the richness and variety of their stories which will inspire readers to question our own health models and how we treat each other.”
We’d like to wish Paul all the best in his endeavours. We’ll be making a contribution towards the project and we hope you will join us!
Learn more about, or contribute to, Paul Roy’s Kickstarter Project