SBI and private heart hospital Narayana Hrudayalaya on Tuesday launched a novel loan product on a pilot basis for 'poor heart patients undergoing cardiac treatment.'
Officials said under the SBI Hrudaya Suraksha Scheme, carrying an interest rate of 8.5 per cent, the patient would get as a loan 80 per cent of the total medical expenditure or Rs 50,000 whichever is lower.
The borrower would have to repay the full amount with interest within a maximum period of six months. Narayana Hrudayala's Chief Dr Devi Shetty said the interest component in the first three months of the repayment period would be borne by his hospital.
The scheme was launched by Nobel laureate Prof Muhammed Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh, who hailed the initiative, in the presence of SBI Chairman OP Bhatt and RBI Deputy Governor V Leeladhar.
Shetty said the pilot project is to evaluate the concept of offering loan on easy interest terms for poor patients who need urgent cardiac intervention. "Once the proof of concept is available, the same plan can be rolled out in other health cities of Narayana Hrudayalaya in Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Jamshedpur", he said.
A good number of people belonging to the lower middle class have some means of revenue generation but they do not have large sums of cash at hand for medical eventualities. In the pilot phase, poor patients undergoing cardiac treatment at the Narayana Hrudayalaya Health City in Bangalore can avail the loan, without collateral, officials said.