Doctor opens ‘One Rupee’ clinic for poor people in Burla
Sambalpur: Keeping up with medical ethics of serving humanity, a doctor in Sambalpur district has opened a ‘One Rupee’ clinic to provide treatment to the poor and underprivileged people. Shankar Ramchandani, an Assistant Professor in Department of Medicine at Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), has started the facility in Burla where patients have to pay just one rupee for receiving medicare.
Ramchandani’s wife Sikha Ramchandani, a dental surgeon, is helping him in the pioneering work.
The clinic was inaugurated on Friday and 33 patients came to the clinic on the first day, the doctor said.
Located 330 km north-west of Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur does not have adequate medical infrastructure apart from the government-run VIMSAR, formerly Burla Medical College (BMC) and Veer Surendra Sai Medical College and Hospital (VSSMCH). In such a condition, the innovative idea of a medico to render treatment on a paltry fee of Re 1 is a boon for the masses. Ramchandani said the one-rupee fee clinic is part of his long-standing desire to provide free treatment to the poor and underprivileged beyond duty hour.
“I joined VIMSAR as a Senior Resident and the 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. Hence, I have started the clinic in a rented house now”, said the 38-year-old doctor.
Asked why he charges Re 1 token amount, Ramchandani said, “I charge one rupee from the poor and underprivileged people as I don’t want them to feel that they are availing the service free of cost. They should also think that they have paid some money for their treatment.” The clinic, which has been set up at Kachha Market area in Burla town, remains open from 7 am to 8 am and 6 pm to 7 pm.
The ‘One-Rupee’ clinic has provided him with an opportunity to serve the poor, destitute, unprivileged, elderly persons, physically challenged people and the people who do not have access to proper medical care. “I am a doctor of the masses and not the classes”, he said.
Ramchandani said hundreds of people regularly come to the OPD of VIMSAR and one can find a long queue of patients to consult doctors. “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 Re 1 only,” he added.
Ramchandani, who had hit the headlines when he took a leprosy patient carrying on his arms and dropped him in his house in 2019, said, “My late father, Brahmanand Ramchandani, had told me to set up a nursing home. But a nursing home requires huge investment and it is not possible to provide treatment to poor people at Re 1 in a nursing home. Hence, I decided to open this ‘One-Rupee’ clinic.”
Ramchandani had received widespread appreciation when he attended a COVID-19 patient beyond his duty hours and also carried the patient to VIMSAR in his car amid the scourge of novel coronavirus in October last year.