Christian Medical College & Hospital Ludhiana has been reaching out to the marginalized and to the poorest of the poor though The Rural Health & Out Reach Programme (RHOP) departments clinics. RHOP operates outreach clinics at fixed locations in the slum of Bindra Colony (near the old vegetable market) and Preet Nagar slums (adjacent to the central jail/prison) and mobile clinics in nearly 30 other slum areas around Ludhiana city.
The Clinics to Bindra Colony are fixed on Tuesday afternoons and Preet Nagar on Thursday mornings with an average patient load of 42 and 85 respectively. Patients are provided primary care and given medicines. They are encouraged to give a token amount of ten rupees (for medicines and consults) in a donation box to inculcate a sense of value for services. The team usually includes one ENT specialist, one or two general physicians, two nurses and one driver.
In the past six months, over 2132 beneficiaries have availed of these services at the outreach clinics. Patients that needed investigations and expert opinions were referred to the main Hospital (CMC) and received care and hospitalization at concessional rates. There were 589 outpatient visits by patients from the various slums, of which 92 of them required hospitalization. Those admitted received a amount of Two Thousand Rupees ($30) towards the final bill as assistance from Global Mission Fund, approximately 5-10% of the total bill. Other donors were also involved when patients required surgery and when the care would be prolonged and expensive.
For the outpatients, a total of 17,670 Rupees were spent on outpatient files charges and investigations while a total of 1,84,000 Rupees were given as aid towards the hospitalization bill. The cost of transport is approximately one thousand rupees per month.
The clinics have been able to break the fear of the poorest of poor with regards to the getting high quality medical care at CMC. The compassion for the poor and the ministry to the marginalised is the ministry of Christ that keeps on giving. The department hopes to include specialty camps in these areas- including Eye camps, Dental camps, cancer screening camps, etc. which would reduce the burden of illness on the poor and further strengthen their meager financial resources.
This child has cerebral palsy, his parents are daily wage earners in a factory. This child was identified for special care by the RHOP team and is now under regular treatment from the Child Development Clinic of the pediatrics department.
Photos from Outreach Camps in Rural Areas