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The $800 Heart Surgery

If you need a heart surgery but don't have medical insurance and can't afford the tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket bill, India may have the solution for you: heart surgery for $800.

Indian cardiac surgeon Devi Prasad Shetty built a "no-frills" Narayana Hrudayalaya clinic in Mysore, southern India, at a fraction of the cost of building equivalent hospitals in the West, and pass on the savings to his patients:

Air-conditioning is restricted to operating theatres and intensive care units. Ventilation comes from large windows on the wards.

Relatives or friends visiting in-patients undergo a four-hour nursing course and are expected to change bandages and do other simple tasks.

In its architecture, Shetty rejected the generic multi-storey model, which requires costly foundations and steel reinforcements as well as lifts and complex fire safety equipment.

Much of the building was pre-fabricated off site and then quickly assembled. [...]

By running the operating theatres from early morning to late at night, six days a week, it is inspired by low-cost airlines which keep their planes in the air as much as possible.

The British-trained surgeon sniffs at the output of Western counterparts who might do a handful of operations a week. Each of his surgeons does up to four a day on a fraction of the wages of those in the West.

Read the rest over at Globalpost: Link