Lead Story

Big heart, better mind

Narayana Healthcare is racing ahead in its quest to make healthcare more accessible and affordable

As I sit chatting with Dr Devi Shetty in his largish cabin on the first floor of Narayana Health City in Bengaluru, I can barely keep my eyes off him. Not because he is the most charming doctor I have met till date but because what he is saying is very refreshing compared with the oft-repeated sob story of government apathy and shortage of skills you hear from chieftains of healthcare companies. In the course of our 90-minute conversation, Dr Shetty draws my attention to a painting hung right behind his seat. It looks like some sort of modern art — to a novice like me, it could easily pass off as an MF Hussain classic, but no, it’s not. “It is painted by an elephant,” Dr Shetty says with some degree of assertion. He bought the painting from the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, where every elephant is trained to make one particular painting. “You can watch the elephant paint and then buy the piece. We are surely more intelligent than elephants. So, can’t we get some girls from the villages and train them to hand over a surgical instrument  to a doctor for a hernia operation?” he asks. “It’s possible.”