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Businessman cuts heart op costs by 98%

07 August 2013, 08:49

Cape Town - Heart surgery in India is 98% cheaper than in the US, all thanks to a heart surgeon-turned-businessman, according to Bloomberg.

Devi Shetty, who founded 21 medical centers around India, is pushing for affordable cardiac surgery for millions of Indians.

At Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, an artery-clearing coronary bypass surgery costs $106 385, but Shetty has trimmed this procedure down to 95 000 rupees ($1 555).

Shetty is aiming to get costs further down to $800 within a decade.

“The current price of everything that you see in health care is predominantly opportunistic pricing and the outcome of inefficiency,” he was quoted as saying.

His cost cutting measures include buying cheaper scrubs, reducing energy costs by only having theaters and intensive-care units air-conditioned, cutting out unnecessary pre-op testing and making use of Web-based computer software.

This cheaper procedure could serve as a model for making life-saving heart operations more profitable and accessible  to patients in other emerging nations, said World Heart Federation chief Srinath Reddy.


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