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An Indian doctor couple who made their fortune in the United States has pledged $200 million in order to improve healthcare and medical education in India and Zambia, partnering with an American university.
Zambia-born cardiologist Kiran Patel and his paediatrician wife Pallavi Patel are donating to Nova Southeastern University to build two medical colleges- one in Florida and another in India.
In addition to the donation to NSU, Dr Patel said that he was committed to setting up a 40-hectare campus near Vadodara in Gujarat with the NSU willing to expand their operations to India.
Dr Patel told BBC $50 million of his donation will go directly to the school and $150 million will be used to build a medical education complex in nearby Clearwater.
The couple wants to improve healthcare in India and Zambia and to train healthcare professionals there at an affordable cost. Their plan is to get students from Florida to spend time in India to get practical experience, and getting Indian students to learn at medical school in Florida for a year.
Dr Patel says taking the American-style education will reduce the cost of training health professionals.
"A Zambian student can stay in India for less than $2,000, including accommodation and food," Dr Patel told the BBC.
"We are able to help thousands of people, and at the same time provide the same quality of education as imparted in the US."
The Patels have also donated to the University of South Florida where they established Dr Kiran C Patel Research Institute which focuses on sustainable development.
Dr Patel completed his medical education in India and moved to the US with his doctor wife, Pallavi Patel in 1976. There in the US, he went on to become a businessman from a cardiologist when he bought and revived a health insurance company that was on verge of bankruptcy.
He says philanthropy is something that he imbibed from his father.
“Anything good you can do when you wake up in the morning and help anybody in any form you can is what my father used to,” said Dr Kiran Patel.
He likes to call himself an “aggressive entrepreneur” and believes in making the best use when an opportunity presents itself.