one woman show
Neil Barua discovers how one woman's mission to make health care available to all in India has been met with both praise and criticism
- By: Neil Barua
The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital evolved from one woman's aspiration to make the best health care available to all people of India--including the poorest people. The woman is Mata Amritanandamayi, or Amma, as she is affectionately known. She is a spiritual leader with a huge following both in India and throughout the world.
I spent five weeks in the paediatric cardiology department of the hospital in Kerala, southern India, and discovered how one woman's dream became a reality--namely, a superspecialty hospital where the poorest people receive world class care without charge.
When a patient comes to the hospital, a team of accountants makes a detailed assessment of the family's financial situation and ability to contribute to the cost of the patient's treatment. For the poorest patients, everything from a chest x ray to complex cardiac surgery is free of charge. More affluent patients are asked to pay according