Dr. Devi Shetty also known as Devi Prasad Shetty is an Indian Cardiac Surgeon and the founder of Narayana Hrudayalaya which dreams of making Healthcare affordable and in reach of thousands of Indians. He has won a lot of hearts surely for his remarkable contribution in providing cheap healthcare to the underprivileged.

Born in a small town in Karnataka, India and the eighth sibling amongst a total of nine children, and being bullied by his elder brothers, Dr. Shetty learnt the survival strategies at a very young age. He decided to become strong from both his body and mind. He was never a topper in his school and had failed many a times in his exams. However, these failures never deterred him from trying to pursue his passion of becoming a heart surgeon inspired by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, the first surgeon to perform the first ever heart transplant.

Completing his Graduation in Medicine and Post Graduation in General Surgery from India, he moved to Guy’s Hospital UK to train in Cardiac Surgery, thus fulfilling his desire of becoming a cardiac surgeon. Returning soon he joined the B.M. Birla Hospital in Kolkata and after some time, he moved to Bangalore and started the Manipal Heart Foundation at Manipal Hospitals. In 2001, he founded Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH) aiming at affordable healthcare. Dr. Shetty assures that cost of healthcare can be reduced by 50% in the coming years by adopting the economies of scale ideology. He has ever since been working on the same direction.

Today Dr. Shetty is a renowned name in the Medical Fraternity across the world and has several firsts in his kitty. India’s first neonatal surgery, India’s first video assisted open heart surgery to name a few. His Heart Hospital is the largest in the world having 1000 beds and performing over 30 heart surgeries over a day. NH not only has a Cardiac Unit but also Neurosurgery, Peadiatric Surgery, Haematology, Nephrology and Transplant Units. Dr. Shetty dreams of catering to 15,000 outpatients every day in NH and building more such chain of hospitals in India.

He and his team in NH are committed towards providing a cost effective but good quality healthcare system to Indians especially the underprivileged. Achievements and Aspirations of his Team are listed down below:

Affordable Heart Surgery Through Economies of Scale – NH has brought down the cost of heart surgery to USD 1400 and aspires to bring it down to $800, thanks to scale. NH does 30 heart surgeries per day and also does the largest number of kid heart surgeries.

Building Functional Hospitals – NH believes in building functional hospitals rather than five star ones.

Reduced Staffing – Another cost effective methodology is Reduced Staffing. NH trains family members to take care of the patients after they are released from the ICU.

Surgical Gowns at effective rates – Surgical gowns with existing suppliers cost around INR 5000 per Surgery. NH persuaded a local entrepreneur (Amaryllis Manufacturers) to manufacture these surgical gowns at INR 900 per surgery.

Medical Insurance to Poor – Dr. Shetty designed an Insurance program for the poor farmers which has now been implemented by the Govt. of Karnataka called the Yeshaswini Insurance Program. This covers the farmers with low cost medical insurance with a monthly premium of as low as INR 5.

Udayaer Pathe (Towards the Path of Enlightenment) – Dr. Shetty is currently also involved in mentoring 2000 school kids of Rural West Bengal with their education, enhancing their skills to be able to qualify for medical college admission.

Woman Empowerment (Noble Cause)– NH and Dr. Shetty believe that Woman are the strongest of the entire human race, supporting their families and using their earnings for the benefit of the family selflessly. Hence promoting women employment is a positive step towards their empowerment by the organization.

Value of Penny – NH compiles a daily profit and loss statement to diagnose the current situation of the company finances every day.

All of the above fiercely powers up, Dr. Devi Shetty’s healthcare model which is unique, qualitative but cost effective and a promise to all of us Indians towards a better and easily accessible while low on cost medical system.

Dr. Shetty’s vision to help the impoverished and lessening the expenses of healthcare has received several accolades and awards including the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan Awards by the Government of India. The Poor in India call him the “Bypasswale Baba” while the west refers to him as “the Henry Ford of Heart Surgery”.

Dr. Shetty is an inspiration, a living legend and motivates all of us to adopt an economical approach to solve problems for our country where even today a lot of people sleep empty stomach on roads.

Written by: 

Tanusri Chakraborty


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