Bringing healthcare to the poorest communities in India
During a three month stay in Kolkata, I gained some deep insights into the culture, history, politics and the impressive humanitarian work being undertaken by truly inspiring people there.
One of these organisations was Mercy Hospital. Once a Christian healthcare provider funded on years of kind donations, now a fully-fledged hospital offering some of the best healthcare available in the country to those who can't necessarily afford it.
By conducting means tests, the hospital is able to offer healthcare at subsidized cost to low income families and at no expense to those families from who truly lack the means to overcome their difficulties.
Although the first 25 years of its operation were mainly funded through an international Christian donor network, the hospital began developing a sustainable model that works to rechannel income it derives from its more well-off clients towards its humanitarian program.
The hospital also has a nursing school and many rural healthcare clinics it has established to meet the needs of the villages that simply have no access to government healthcare.
Individual donors are still sought out for special operations per individual case, and I remember one case where a very young Muslim boy, being sick for sometime, came to see the specialists at the Hospital and was diagnosed with a hole in his heart.
That boy was then flown a few weeks later to another city to undergo an operation with surgeon, all the costs covered by donors. The operation was a success.
Although a Christian organisation, Mercy Hospital has reached thousands of families of Hindu and Muslim origin, and is a truly inspiring beacon of compassion.
For more detailed information on the impact Mercy Hospital continues to make in this region click here.