Dr. Devi Shetty gets innovation award from global magazine

The Indian heart surgeon who is proposing to build a health city in the Cayman Island has won The Economist’s 2011 award for business-process innovation. The magazine acknowledged Dr Devi Shetty’s skill as a surgeon but said his innovative contribution to global health care was what won him the prestigious accolade. In a release The Economist pointed out that by using mass-production techniques Dr Shetty has shown that better health care need not cost more. Despite serving a much poorer population, Shetty’s hospital group earns an after-tax profit of 8%, slightly above the 6.9% average for an American hospital.

“He is renowned for his skill as a surgeon, but we are recognising his additional talent as an innovator, by naming him the winner of our business-process innovation award,” Tom Standage, Digital Editor at The Economist and chairman of the judges panel said. Dr Shetty founded his Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in Bangalore in 2001 with 1,000 beds, compared with an average of 160 in American heart hospitals. Dr. Shetty and his staff performed 6,272 heart operations last year, compared with 4,128 at the Cleveland Clinic, a leading American hospital. The Economist pointed out that each operation costs around $2,000-$5,000, compared with $20,000-$100,000 in America.  It also noted that in 2008 Shetty’s hospital reported a 1.4% mortality rate within 30 days of coronary-artery bypass-graft surgery, one of the most common procedures, compared with an average 1.9% in America.

News that the Indian surgeon was first interested in developing a hospital in the Cayman Islands to cater for the North American market first broke here just under two years ago in November 2009. Government signed an MOU with Shetty in April last year for 12 months which was extended.  Since then the government has amended the health care practitioner’s bill and created legislation to limit medical mal practice pain and suffering damage claims and is currently working on legislation to legalise organ transplants. Shetty also signed a deal in November last year to run a much needed cardiac cath lab at the Cayman Islands hospital which HSA officials said recently was still in the works but the conversion work on an operating room was still being done. Read more…

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