One Rupee Clinic - The Game changer in Healthcare system !

All humans born in this world have a dream to achieve in their lifetime. But according to Maslow's theory of hierarchy, people would start working on their goals only when their psychological, safety, and other basic needs are achieved. Millions of people living in this world are unable to achieve their aim as their whole life gets stuck in making their ends meet. People are working meticulously just to make sure that they get at least a minimum quantity of food for their survival. When that person strives very hard and saves money to work on his/her dream, everything gets jeopardized when the state of his/her health gets affected. The average person finds it difficult to afford a good treatment as the costs have gone up. Universal health care is still a dream in India.

Despite the public healthcare system being free and subsidized for people living below the poverty line, the quality is of grave concern. And yet India is the popular destination for foreigners to get medical treatment because of the relatively low costs and high quality of its private hospitals. Getting a quality treatment is still out of reach for people with lower income. But somewhere at the financial capital of our country, few organizations are working hard to make quality healthcare in reach for common citizens. This is all about the "One Rupee Clinic" set up by the Central Railways in association with Mumbai based medical firm Magicdil Health for All Pvt Ltd.

History of One Rupee Clinic:

The story for laying the foundation of this clinic began with a PIL filed in Bombay high court by social activist Samir Zaveri for not having an established medical system near Railway station to treat people in an emergency. The Bombay High court ordered the railways to establish an Emergency Medical Response center at all stations on Central and Western lines in a phased manner. Magicdil, the city-based health firm was looking forward to provide quality and affordable treatment to the mass. So, when they came to know about the railways plan for setting up a health establishment, Magicdil offered their idea and plan. As it seemed to be feasible, the railways offered them with infrastructure to build the clinics and thus the 24X7 One Rupee Clinic was born.

Initially, this was established at Kurla, Dadar, Mulund, Wadala, and Ghatkopar stations owing to its higher probabilities for accident and heavy footfall. This turned out into huge success as people living near the railway station were able to get access to quality healthcare at an affordable cost. The consultation fee is charged at one rupee only. This hospital is equipped with all necessary life-saving equipment like ECG machines, Oxygen cylinders, Pulse-oximeter. When it costs Rs 200- Rs 400 for a BP and sugar level check in a city-based clinic, it just costs Rs 1 in these clinics. Even other treatments are done at a very low cost. All this was possible because of Dr. Rahul Ghule, the man behind this wonderful concept.

Seeing its huge success, the Kalyan-Dombivili Municipal Corporation planned to replicate the same model at the civic-run hospital in Kalyan, the first One Rupee Clinic in a residential area. Though the One Rupee Clinic faced difficulties in the beginning and some of its clinics were asked to shut down due to heavy loss incurred, they sailed through the rough weather and eventually improved it periodically. But at any point in time, the cost for the treatment was not increased and quality remained the top priority for the people running the clinic. Now it's currently functional at Thane, Gowandi, Chembur, Kurla, Sion, Dombivili, Ulhasnagar, Mankhurd, Kalwa, Byculla, Bhandup, Titwala, Ambernath railway stations.

Even in this current crisis, the One Rupee Clinic volunteers conducted free screening tests and door-to-door screening for Covid-19 symptoms. These clinics have indeed become a lifeline for many people living in and around Mumbai. Such initiatives like these would make affordable quality treatment a reality and essential right for people living with low income.

Article by

Hayagrivan Balaji

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