Devi Prasad Shetty is an Indian cardiac surgeon who is the chairman and founder of Narayana Health. It has 47 healthcare facilities including a hospital in the Cayman Islands. The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee is one of the best minds in India, a leading cardiac surgeon, billionaire businessman and a philanthropist. In 1984, he treated Mother Teresa when she suffered a heart attack. He was her personal doctor for the last five years of her life.
For the unversed, there is an episode about his life and work on the Netflix TV series The Surgeon’s Cut (episode 4).
Devi Shetty’s early life
Born in Kinnigoli, a village in Karnataka, Devi Shetty is the eighth of nine children. While he was in school, he learned about Christiaan Barnard, a South African surgeon who had just performed the world’s first heart transplant. That was a turning point in his life and he decided to become a heart surgeon.
Devi Shetty’s education
Devi Shetty went to St. Aloysius School in Mangaluru for his schooling. In 1979, he completed hus MBBS. Later, he joined Royal College of Surgeons in England for FRCS.
Devi Shetty’s career
After returning to India in 1989, Devi Shetty started working at Kolkata’s B.M. Birla Hospital. In 1992, he became the first doctor to successfully perform the neonatal heart surgery in India on a 21-day-old baby. He also operated Mother Teresa after she had a heart attack. After moving back to Bengaluru, he opened the Manipal Heart Foundation at Manipal Hospitals with the help from his father-in-law.
In 2001, he founded Narayana Hrudayalaya, a multi-specialty hospital. In 2012, he collaborated with Ascension Health to set up a health care city in the Cayman Islands. He ensured his hospitals provided low cost health care. He decided to trum down the cost by buying cheaper scrubs and using cross ventilation instead of air conditioning.
Devi Shetty was appointed as chairman of the COVID-19 task force in Karnataka. However, the decision was criticized by global health doctors as Devi Shetty did not have the epidemiological approach to COVID-19 management.
Devi Shetty’s net worth
Devi Shetty has an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion, as per Forbes.