Yerragondapalem: Where people get treatment for cheapest fee under trees

Yerragondapalem: Where people get treatment for cheapest fee under trees
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Yerragondapalem: The hospital always bustles with the patients and the beds are occupied round the clock. If it is for any other ordinary hospital, it ...

Yerragondapalem: The hospital always bustles with the patients and the beds are occupied round the clock. If it is for any other ordinary hospital, it could have opened branches and multispecialty units by making medical service as a business. But it is Raveendra Nursing Home aka People's Hospital, serving poor and tribal people and is now upgrading into a multispecialty hospital after 50 years of service.

Dr. Manne Raveendra is born into a farmers' family at Appikatla of Bapatla mandal in Guntur district. After completion of the MBBS at Guntur Medical College in 1967, he followed the orders of his maternal uncle former MLC B Subba Rao and former Samiti president Veginati Kotaiah and started service at Yerragondapalem. He trained himself by witnessing the surgeries being done by the then experienced surgeons to help the poor people get life-saving service. In the 50 years of his experience as the surgeon, Raveendra has crossed the record of performing more than one lakh surgeries.

The Raveendra Nursing Home in Yerragondapalem and Dr. Raveendra are popular among generations of poor people in the western Prakasam district, Palanadu, Kurnool, Mahaboob Nagar, Nalgonda, and Rangareddy districts including the Chenchu, Sugali and other tribal people living in the Nagarjuna Sagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve area.

Dr Raveendra observes that the tribal people suffer from malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases but having a heart problem is very rarest case, which is quite opposite to people in the plains. The doctor offers free outpatient services to the people as most of them cannot afford money on treatment. He charges for the consumables in the operation theatre, which is about 5 to 10 percent of the bill that any ordinary hospital would charge after conducting a surgery.

The inpatients, who don't get a bed, and happily agrees to get the saline administered to them by hanging on a branch of trees, resting on a plastic cot. Dr Raveendra says that he cannot say no to people coming in times of emergency and the tribal people who live happily in the forest, agree to sleep under trees while receiving treatment. If they can afford, they could take a bed in the neighboring buildings for a rent of Rs 20 per day and get the treatment from the people's doctor Raveendra.

After about a half-century of establishing the hospital and having a successful career by performing more than one lakh surgeries, Dr Raveendra is now building a multispecialty hospital. The construction of the hospital was started a few days ago and the doctor is pooling up all resources to fund the construction of the hospital.

When asked why he decided to not take more money from the patients, he smiled and said that as patients are the poorest of the poor, his fees should also be the lower than any other doctor in the country. He said that earlier, the doctors do not love the money but loved their profession, but the present generation of doctors are trying to mint money.

Dr Raveendra said that the People's Hospital would continue in the same way until he breathes last and he wants his successors also to do the same for the benefit of the local people. He opined that the government should introduce a system to prosecute the private hospital management for denying treatment to the patients or bring all hospitals under the government sector so that no patient suffers in emergency for lack of money for treatment.

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