Vivekananda Health Centre: Where complexities are simple

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The need for Dakshas was felt rather early, probably three years before the solution emerged. Eight different institutions have been engaged with Dakshas — the settings ranging from NGO clinics for the poor to high-end corporate hospitals. Among this, one engagement has stood out above the rest. 

Vivekananda Health Centre (VHC), Ramakrishna Mission (RMK), Hyderabad is a polyclinic that sees approximately 500 to 600 patients per day between 9am and 5pm. Over 50 doctors, including superspecialists, provide free consultation.  The clinic charges Rs.20 as registration fee and Rs.10 as user fee. Facilities for diagnostics, minor surgical and dental procedures, pharmacy and physiotherapy services are provided at highly subsidized rates. It is probably one of the best-managed healthcare facilities in Hyderabad, within the limitations of its service profile. 

Dakshas started its operations at VHC as a weekly orthopaedic clinic, seeing 30 patients a week. Gradually, it grew to three sessions a week, and then into a multi-speciality pain clinic. Today, Dakshas sees approximately 660 patients a week. Dakshas’ growth here was not only in terms of numbers, but our whole scope and service design was developed in this unique crucible. 

There are some characteristics that make Vivekananda Health Centre the ideal Healthcare Delivery Incubator. VHC has a single guiding principle: ‘the Patient’s Interest’. And it is willing to do whatever is possible to attain that goal. Authority and responsibility are delegated, human resources are managed with empathy, service design is constantly tweaked and tested, standards are higher than any other facility and all other hurdles are removed. What is even more intriguing is that RMK doesn’t view this as charity. One of the most important things Dakshas learnt at VHC is how everything and everyone’s interests are interconnected. We realized that it is our own interests that we serve through Dakshas, and that our interests can only be served by serving others. It is surprising how this brings together all the medicine, medical research and management skills that went into designing Dakshas.