Heart surgery costs a tenth of the cost of the same procedure in the US. Dr Devi Shetty founded the hospital in 2001 with 1000 beds (compared to an average of 160 in American cardiac hospitals), and in 2009 the biggest cancer hospital in the world opened on the same site.

The hospitals share back office functions, and together procure 10-12 per cent of all health consumables in India, achieving huge savings through economies of scale.

The approach also leverages resources in new ways - using patent's families to provide non-specialist care and experimenting with new approaches to micro-health insurance.