An Eye Hospital serving for free (almost!)
In the recent past, my mother developed a strange eye problem of yellow spots and flashes in her vision field which later turned out to a gel like substance persistently disturbing her vision field. We spent quite a sum of money previously on few hospitals, but none could offer a viable solution to her eye problem. We prayed our Savior Jesus continuously to take away our worries regarding her eye problems and to show His mercy on us. The Lord has been merciful on us and my mom’s eye problems has been solved by a simple laser operation and the doctors said my mom has been lucky as the eye problems did not get worse. It is not luck but we thanked God on how merciful He is!.
Here I would like to talk about Madurai Aravind Eye Care Organization where my mother had undergone this minor laser surgery for a mere Rs. 500 (10 USD) whereas outside it costs more than 1000 USD. The staff are very courteous, something which we miss even in hospitals where we need to pay 10 times more. Over 60 percent of the patients are treated free with world class equipment and it is a real boon for the poor in India. Aravind is exactly opposite to private healthcare facilities where the focus is essentially on making money from the richer population.
With a bed strength of more than 4000 beds and serving 250,000 patients every year, 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 Rs.1000 (20 USD) or even free, if they can‘t afford that money too. Another important element in the hospital is the attention given to training to ensure an adequate supply of key skills. About 1000 ophthalmic assistants are taken on and trained each year to support the specialists. Also, counseling skills are also developed through dedicated training courses. Aravind Eye Care is an example of how a non-profit organization can sustain high quality, low cost, world class service and reach the poor, but at the same time run profitably through a large scale operation.