AyurVAID Seva – the Community Health Initiative of AyurVAID Hospitals
AyurVAID’s vision is to lead the transformation of Ayurveda into a mainstream healthcare system – beneficial to all segments of society, including low-income households. It is widely understood that the rising prevalence of chronic diseases has the most dramatic effect on the poor and their ability to earn a living, causing them to slip into the poverty trap.
However, rather than take a traditional “two pocket” approach to reaching low-income segments with healthcare (i.e. making money in the higher-end markets and then providing a subsidized service to low-income groups), AyurVAID believes that the ultimate model of corporate social responsibility is to build an inclusive but commercial business model: where low-income consumers are genuine customers with the dignity to choose and participate and which, critically, can run on a sustainable and scalable basis so as to impact the maximum number of people.
AyurVAID has developed ‘AyurVAID SEVA Hospitals’ – the community health initiative of AyurVAID Hospitals – offering AyurVAID services at affordable rates to low-income communities. With identical medical standards, AyurVAID SEVA units are able to bring down the cost of treatment by offering a general ward format and employing a lower cost of establishment and operations. The 15 bed AyurVAID Hospital in Ramamurthy Nagar, Bangalore, was set up in February 2009 under this model. The result is an in-patient service offering chronic disease management for Rs.750 per day in a city like Bangalore. By this approach, AyurVAID is increasing access to healthcare for the poor in a sustainable and scalable manner.
AyurVAID has collaborated with a leading private medical insurance company to design a breakthrough insurance product with ‘accessibility maximizing’ features, targeting low income communities. AyurVAID also collaborates with a leading Bangalore based NGO to extend primary healthcare services to unorganized labourers across Bangalore.
Perhaps, this is the first time that any Ayurveda organization in the private sector has systematically addressed the core and major challenges to begin the process of repositioning Ayurveda in the minds of different stakeholders- general public, government, insurance companies.