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A Madurai Doctor is Taking Healthcare Directly to the Doorsteps of 25000 Senior Citizens

A Madurai Doctor is Taking Healthcare Directly to the Doorsteps of 25000 Senior Citizens

Dr Swaminathan C from Madurai is running a programme called 'Doctors on Wheels', which brings affordable and easy-to-reach healthcare to many elderly people in the city. Here is how the initiative works.

“If food can be delivered to your doorstep, why can’t quality healthcare too?” asks Dr Swaminathan C. Taking this thought forward, in 2019, he started ‘Doctor on Wheels’, an initiative to give patients medical services at their doorsteps.

Born and raised in Canada, Swaminathan moved to India for higher studies in medicine. In 2015, after completing his MBBS and post-graduation in emergency medicine, he worked at a private medical college in the intensive care unit as a junior consultant for five years. 

“But I felt that a corporate job is not my cup of tea. I wanted to offer something better to people,” he tells The Better India. 

“I would meet a lot of senior citizens at the hospital. Often, they’d narrate the logistical difficulties they face while shifting from their homes to a hospital bed, especially if they reside on the second or third floors. Many of them are also left unattended as their children live abroad,” says Swaminathan. 

This is how the idea for ‘Doctor on Wheels’ was conceived. He modified a Maruti Eco car into an ambulance, equipping it with things such as ICUs, infusion pumps, oxygen cylinders and syringe drivers. Other than the elderly, he also provides healthcare to those who cannot be physically moved to a hospital, like children with disabilities. This also helps them save on hospital expenses.

The ambulance travels 60 km and takes at least 25 calls in a day. It has treated more than 25,000 patients in the past three years.

Want to know about Swaminathan’s initiative? Watch this short video: 

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Edited by Padmashree Pande

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