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  • Topic: Ophthalmology, Eye, Cataract surgery
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  • Published : December 7, 2012
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ZENITH
International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.2 Issue 1, January 2012, ISSN 2231 5780

RIGHT TO SIGHT: A MANAGEMENT CASE STUDY ON ARAVIND EYE HOSPITALS DR. BHUPINDER CHAUDHARY*; DR. ASHWIN G. MODI**; DR. KALYAN REDDY*** *Assistant Professor, Department of Hospital Management, H.N.G. University, Patan (Gujarat)-384265. **Co-ordinator, Department of Hospital Management, H.N.G. University, Patan (Gujarat)-384265. ***Assistant Professor, Department of Hospital Management, H.N.G. University, Patan (Gujarat)-384265.

ABSTRACT With the aim of providing affordable eye care services to a country which has about 20 million blind citizens and 80% of it due to curable cataracts, at the age of 58, Dr. V. Started, the Aravind Eye Hospital. Popularly known as the McDonald‘s of cataract surgery, with a bed strength of more than 4000 beds and serving 0.25 million patients every year, this is one of the world‘s largest eye care systems catering largely to the poor population. Poor people with cataract can regain their eye-sight at a price as low as $40 or even free, if they can‘t afford. It was demonstrated by this non-profit system that it is practically possible to combine high quality, low cost, world scale and sustainability. It has been seen as a unique business model by many Organizations and has proven that care provided at low cost can also yield sustainability and even profitability. Aravind system's successful manufacturing unit, Aurolab, has produced 6%-7% of the low-cost lenses world-wide in 2002, which were sold in more than 100 countries. This Organization has been a source of case studies to not only national, but International agencies as well. ___________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION CASE STUDY Dr. V. created a system for sight-saving cataract surgeries that produces enviable medical outcomes in one of the poorest regions of the globe. Its rapid expansion over three decades was not built through government grants, aid agency donations or bank loans. Instead, Dr. V took the unusual step of asking even poor patients to pay whenever they could, believing the volume of paying business would sustain the rest. Poor people with cataracts in Tamil Nadu can get their sight restored for about $40. If they can't afford that, it's free. Starting with an 11-bed clinic in 1976, Dr. V's system is now a five-hospital system. His model became the subject of a Harvard Business School case study, and is being copied in hospitals around the subcontinent. The cheap, high-quality implantable lenses the system manufactures are exported to more than 80 lenses the system manufactures are exported to more than 80 countries around the world, Aravind says. Dr. Venkataswamy's basic insight was that health care can be marketed to the poor if a program is closely tailored to a local niche, something that has come to be known as social marketing. In a country with, by some estimates, 20 million blind eyes -- 80% of them due to curable cataracts -- the appeal for patients was financial. "A blind person is a mouth with no hands," is an Indian saying that Dr. V liked to

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ZENITH
International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.2 Issue 1, January 2012, ISSN 2231 5780

quote. In India, health professionals say, the years of life left to those who go blind can be counted on one hand. With sight restored, the patient can return to work. The Aravind system offers services that range from a simple pair of spectacles to optical oncology. The bulk of surgeries are to treat cataracts -- removing the cataract and replacing it with an artificial intraoptical lens. The assembly-line approach is most evident in the operating room, where each surgeon works two tables, one for the patient having surgery, the other for a patient being prepped. In the OR, doctors use state-of-the-art equipment such as operating microscopes that can swivel between tables....
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