A Visionary for Change: Ophthalmology and Accessibility with Aravind Srinivasan MS, MBA | Christoph Zindel
Play • 30 min

Over half of the world's population lacks access to basic healthcare. Beginning to tackle this problem requires more than structural change in the way we provide care. A true sense of purpose to create and direct those changes is vital for the structural DNA of a healthcare system to be rewired. 

Blindness was once a major problem for people all across India. The issue was accessibility to care in the early stages of ophthalmological complications. In 1976, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy opened the first Aravind Eye Hospital. The goal was to streamline care and make it more affordable while keeping the quality of care at a premium. Since its founding, the Aravind Eye Care System has expanded, serving more than 55 million patients across India. That legacy continues under the leadership of today’s guest.

In this episode, Managing Board Member Christoph Zindel interviews Dr. Aravind Srinivasan, Chief Medical Officer at Aravind Eye Hospital Chennai. He is a cataract surgeon and expert in ophthalmology at Aravind Eye Care System. His focus is on management, innovation, and mentoring, specializing in evaluating and interpreting the performance of each division of AECS. 


Dr. Aravind Srinivasan shares the organizational mission, being that if treatment exists, then there’s no reason for people to suffer blindness needlessly. Through streamlining and standardizing their process of care, Aravind Eye Care System has helped countless people gain access to treatment. Today we’ll hear about the personal motivation that led to building the system,  how it’s applied across India, and what it takes in terms of experience and personal drive in order to manage such a revolutionary system of healthcare. 


Some Questions I Ask:

  • Can you explain your system of healthcare? (3:36)
  • How are you able to make care so affordable? (9:20)
  • How have you increased accessibility to care in India? (13:21)
  • Is telehealth contributing to accessibility during the Covid-19 pandemic? (17:55)
  • What can other healthcare organizations learn from your model? (20:00)
  • How do diversity and inclusion play a role in the building of your teams? (24:20)


What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • How the problem of accessibility was addressed (4:35)
  • Why a sense of purpose often gets lost in the business of healthcare (7:50)
  • How poverty created a cultural barrier to asking for care (13:50)
  • A simple example of streamlining that helped shape AECS (20:22)


Connect with Aravind Srinivasan MS, MBA:


Connect with our Managing Board Member, Christoph Zindel: 

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