A boon for middle class families…Ramdevrao Hospital


An Excellent Humanitarian Service Provided by a Trust Hospital in Hyderabad, India

(Prof Shankar Chatterjee)

Humanitarian service is supported everywhere in the world -whether it is health-related, education-related, poverty-related, or for any issue. This article is based on medical-related i.e., health services (case of a hospital in Hyderabad, India), which is more service-oriented than business. This is not at all a commercial hospital. Before presenting the case of Ramdevrao Hospital, I would like to point out that Hyderabad city has a rich tradition of literature and fine arts, with many museums, art galleries and exhibitions dedicated to displaying Hyderabadi heritage.

Being multicultural, festivals of all ethnicities, be it Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Eid or Christmas, are given equal importance and celebrated with a lot of gaiety. Another feather in the cap of Hyderabad is Medical Tourism. I think it is important to mention that medical tourism is a budding industry in India, with patients from all over the world travelling to India for high-quality medical care at affordable prices. While many cities in India offer excellent medical facilities, Hyderabad has emerged as a top destination for medical tourism.  

Anyway, Ramdevrao Hospital is located at Kukatpally in Hyderabad. This is a unit of Sivananda Rehabilitation Home established in 2002 by Rani Kumudini Devi, the first Lady Mayor of Hyderabad (1962) in memory of her late husband Raja Ramdevrao. The hospital was established with the idea of providing healthcare to needy people at a cost they can afford. She was the daughter of a former Deputy Prime Minister of Hyderabad State, Pingale Venkatram Reddy. She also became a Member of the Legislative Assembly. 

She initiated Sivananda Rehabilitation Home in1958, a Centre that cares for those with Leprosy patients. When the then Andhra Pradesh Government decided to wind up the Government Leprosy Home, about 800 resident families from that home were shifted to Sivananda Rehabilitation Home, and their treatment and rehabilitation were taken care of. Presently, more than 100 such families are staying. The family members of Kumudini Devi, namely, sons Sri Rantidevrao, and Sri Vikramdevrao, and daughters Smt Bharati and Smt Vijayalakshmi, and all other family members have been continuing to uphold her ideals and values in life and continuing the Humanitarian service to the needy in the community. Smt Kumudini Devi started Ramdevrao Memorial General Hospital in the year 2002, initially to meet the simple medical needs of the inmates of Sivananda rehabilitation Home. It was spread over about 10,000 square feet on two floors.

With the space of time, the services were provided to the general public at no cost. However, the management of the hospital faced some issues. For example, the operations of the hospital had to be halted for a brief period till they found someone to lead the medical and paramedical teams. 

Initially, a team from the Health Management and Research Institute (HMRI) came forward to take over the management. Lt Col Dayakar, a retired medical officer from the Army, took charge with a select team of medical, paramedical, and support staff from HMRI and elsewhere, took charge as Medical Director, and thus set the operations in motion. 

The services were stabilized slowly and steadily. As the public response increased, there arose a need for additional space for accommodating more patients both inpatient medical and surgical services. In the meantime, on July 1, 2012, the Kumudini Devi Out-patient Block, with 20,000 square feet of area, was inaugurated. The hospital was renamed as Ramdevrao Hospital in 2013.

The hospital’s management always monitors the quality services of the staff members vis-à-vis prices and has been kept at a cost affordable to the patient. On November 16, 2016, another feather was added to Ramdevrao Hospital as one Eye Centre was inaugurated. The cost of this (more than 7,500 square feet on the second floor of the front block) was borne by the Hyderabad Race Club. The outpatients had to pay an amount of Rs 100, valid for one month.

The cataract surgeries for ‘white ration card’ holders are free of cost, and for all others, they had to pay a minimal amount, which is comparatively lower than the market rate.  At the same time, the Dialysis services were expanded, and 40 Dialysis machines were arranged in association with Bhagawan Mahavir Foundation and daily three cycles were run on these machines. About 250 patients avail of these services either under the Arogya Sri scheme or on minimal payment, where the payment is less than half the price prevailing in the market for one cycle of Dialysis. 

Ramdev Rao Hospital was initially a 70-bed multi-specialty facility. With the space of time, in 2020, Lt. Col Dayakar, the Medical Director, has moved to the Board of Directors of the organization as a member.  Later on, another doctor from army Col K. Kamalakar was appointed as Medical Director. The management then decided to add more specialties to meet the expectations of the public availing the services of the hospital. As a result, about 50,000 square feet of space has been added, and a Blood Bank was added. Anyway, the services available in the hospital inter alia are General Medicine, General Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, Pediatrics, ENT, Orthopedics, Arthroscopic Surgery, Spine Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesiology, Cardiology (OPD), Diabetology, Dialysis, Nephrology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, Pulmonology, Neurology, Urology, Gastroenterology, Radiology and Physiotherapy. Notably, an Intensive Care Unit with 16 beds and all modern equipment was added to the new facility. A full-fledged critical care team headed by Dr. Srinivas Samavedam joined the organization to provide 24 x7 critical care services. Dr Samavedam is a well-known critical care specialist and is a member of a committee set up by the central government to formulate guidelines for the management of ICUs. In the meantime, a CT scan was procured in 2022.

All services are provided at a much lower price than the market. The laboratory will also be expanded, and the Emergency unit will be relocated to a more spacious place.  The management, in addition to providing services at low cost, has also been providing a lot of services to the community. About 10,000 families from lower economic echelons of the society have been identified and given Ramdevrao Rayati Cards, giving 20 to 50 percent concession on the tariff of in-house services. A few Journalist families have also been extended the similar benefits. The hospital has also adopted the children of eight government schools in the area and is given free treatment whenever required. They are also given an annual medical checkup. All the girls of these schools in the age group of 9-15 years are given cervical cancer prevention vaccine costing about Rs 3500 per child. Women among the general public are also given this cancer-preventing vaccine for a price of Rs 1000 per dose, which is a meagre amount compared to the market rate. This is done on every Saturday. Further, the children treated by Sivananda Impact Pediatric Cancer Centre are given free services in Ramdev Rao Hospital as and when required. The hospital also conducts a number of Health Camps from time to time in its vicinity. and in the community. 

It may be mentioned here that the hospital has been accredited by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH), a unit of the Quality Council of India, for its compliance with the Quality Standards issued in 2020. This venture is also facing an inspection for compliance with NABH Nursing Excellence standards.

The management has planned more things to install/work, considering the present situation. These include MRI and Cath Lab and academic programmes like Diplomate of National Board (DNB) in Critical Care, which will likely start next year. Further, training programmes for home care nursing and Phlebotomist courses are also being planned. Soon, Ramdevrao Hospital will also be an Academic institution in addition to its hospital service. I wish to mention here that the management has started Kumudini Devi College of Nursing with General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) and B.Sc. Nursing courses on the same campus.

The organization’s mission is “Quality Care at an Affordable Cost.” It is living up to its mission in letter and spirit. The way the hospital has been functioning last two decades is praiseworthy, and its every footstep is so impressive that many consider this hospital’s service attitude an asset to the people. Before conclusion, I wish to quote Swami Vivekanand, “This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.”

(The author is grateful to Dr. (Lt. Col) K. Kamalakar, Medical Director for providing the necessary inputs to write the article). 

(The author is a former Professor & Head (CPME), NIRD & PR (Govt. of India), Hyderabad)


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