Aravind Eye Care System (AECS)
Country of Operation
- GOVEL TrustNot-for-profit
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
- Middle-income (40-60%)
- Higher middle-income (60-80%)
- High-income (80-100%)
SummaryAravind Eye Care System (AECS), a network of hospitals in India, is the largest provider of eye care in the world.
Founded by Dr. G. Venkataswamy in 1976, its mission is "to eradicate needless blindness by providing appropriate, compassionate and high quality eye care for all."
Key program components
A core principle of the Aravind System is that the hospital must provide services to the rich and poor alike, yet be financially self-supporting. This principle is achieved through high quality, large volume care and a well-organized system. Aravind provides free services to 70% of its patients, a subsidy that is financed by the full-fee services provided to wealthier individuals. Differential pricing is established by a patient's choice of amenities (private rooms vs. open dormitories) and the type of lens that is to be inserted into the eye (hard vs. soft).
Through its network of five eye hospitals located in Tamilnadu and Pondicherry, Aravind contributes to 42% of the cataract surgeries performed in the State of Tamilnadu and 5% of all national surgeries. From April 2010 to March 2011, over 2.6 million people received outpatient eye care and over 315,000 have undergone eye surgeries at the five Aravind Eye Hospitals. As of January 2012, Aravind has served 32 million outpatients and performed four million surgeries. More than 300 ophthalmologists and 600 paramedical workers are trained every year in different sub specialties of ophthalmology. This makes Aravind the largest provider of eye care in the world, both in terms of service delivery as well as training.
Aravind improves operational efficiency by allowing surgeons to work on two tables in alteration. While one surgery is progressing, a team of nurses and paramedical staff prepare the next patient for surgery. This process allows Aravind to perform cataract surgery in 10 minutes, about a third of the industry standard. Despite the shared spaces, Aravind has managed to keep its infection rates low, an average of about 4 cases per 10,000 patients, compared to an average 6 per 10,000 in the U.K.
The entire Aravind Eye Care System encompasses five hospitals, a manufacturing center for ophthalmic products, an international research foundation and a resource and training center that is revolutionizing hundreds of eye care programs across the developing world.
Aravind maintains a surplus primarily through earned revenue. In 2009‐ 2010 it enjoyed a surplus of USD 13 million, on USD 29 million in revenue. Only 6 percent of its operating budget is grant subsidized. Aravind aims to perform one million surgeries and grow to 100 hospitals by 2015. The organization plans to sustain its growth and double its service delivery capacity by 2022 by expanding to new locations, expanding the telemedicine technology‐based primary eye care model for universal coverage, and expanding follow up of patients with chronic eye diseases.
Aravind now performs more than 1,000 procedures each day across all its hospitals. From inception until January 2012, Aravind served 32 million outpatients and performed four million surgeries.
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Editor’s note: Shruti Veenam represents Swasti, a new organization joining the CHMI network to connect program managers, investors, do