Doc of Masses, Not Classes: Founder of Odisha’s ‘One Rupee Clinic’
Dr Ramchandani says he charges Re 1 so that patients don’t feel that they haven’t paid anything for the treatment.
In a bid to offer treatment to the poor and the elderly, a doctor in Odisha’s Sambalpur district has opened a clinic that charges only Re 1 as fee – a nominal charge that has bestowed the enterprise with the title of “One Rupee” clinic, reports news agency PTI.
Effortless as it may sound, the idea of starting a “One Rupee” clinic in Burla wasn’t always a cakewalk for Dr Shankar Ramchandani, who is an Assistant Professor at the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research.
“I joined VIMSAR as a senior resident and senior residents are not allowed to do private practice. Hence, I could not start the ‘’One Rupee’’ clinic. But I was promoted as assistant professor recently and as an assistant professor, I am allowed to do private practice after my duty hours and hence, I have started the clinic in a rented house now.”Dr Shankar Ramchandani, as quoted by PTI.
But if the idea is to help the poor and the destitute, why charge even a single penny? Dr Shankar Ramchandani explains that he charges Re 1 to ensure that patients do not feel that they have paid nothing for treatment. “They should also think that they have paid some money for their treatment," he said.
The clinic, which has been set up at the Kachha Market in Burla, remains open to all from 7 am to 8 am in the morning and from 6 pm to 7 pm in the evening.
Calling himself a “doctor of the masses and not the classes,” Dr Ramchandani said that long queues of patients at the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research had motivated him to open the clinic.
“I have seen elderly people and people with disabilities waiting for hours for consultation with doctors in OPD. They don’t need to wait for hours and suffer at the hospital. They can come to my clinic and get consultation at Rupee 1 only.”Dr Shankar Ramchandani, as quoted by PTI.
Assisted by his dental surgeon spouse Sikha Ramchandani, the doctor made headlines in 2019, when he carried a leprosy patient on his shoulders.
(With inputs from PTI)
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