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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Inexpensive clinics making headway

M. Sai Gopal

Charging Rs.50 for consultation against Rs.300 charged by corporate hospitals

. – Photo: M. Subhash

Pocket friendly:COO of Razi Health Care Shwetank Verma treating a patient at Razi Clinic at Nallakunta

HYDERABAD: Affordable and trustworthy medical care at the primary level in Hyderabad is an expensive affair. Without exception, all the morning and evening outpatient clinics of top hospitals and NIMS charge nothing less than Rs.300 for consultation fee from each patient.

Including the cost for diagnostics and drugs, expenses add up to Rs.600 and sometimes even cross the Rs.1,000 mark for a visit.

Expensive primary medical care is prompting poor families to either opt for compounders who claim that they are trained doctors or get sucked into a debt trap in search of quality medicare.

Though the corporate hospitals are doing extremely well in terms of their turnover, there appears to be a readymade space to be exploited if only quality medical care is provided at a cheap price. Here is where Hyderabad has become a testing ground for Razi Health Care Private limited which started clinics providing an affordable primary medicare delivery system.

Nominal fee

These small clinics, strategically located in middle class localities, charge a consultation fee of Rs.50 and patients get treated by a qualified doctor, who is selected after going through an interview and technical evaluation by a senior doctor. Each clinic has the bare staff of a nurse, a pharmacist and a doctor.

As far as pathological tests are concerned, the staff collect the samples and send them to other laboratories for testing. “The operational costs are kept under control by having bare minimum staff. We select our real estate carefully to have a control over rents. We have taken care to provide the best ambience,” COO of Razi Health Care, Shwetank Verma. The doctors are recruited not on commission basis but on salary basis.

Cheap medicine

“We wanted to dissuade doctors from aiming for targets. The salaries are on par with hospitals like Yashoda and Apollo,” Mr. Verma adds. Each clinic has a pharmacy that provides cheap but effective generic drugs, which reduces the overall cost of the bill.

“If a five day drug course purchased from a regular drug store is Rs.150, then in our pharmacy it will cost between Rs.70 and Rs.80.

The records of the patients are fed in our computers and patients can have access to any of the 18 clinics in the twin cities,” Mr. Verma said.

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