Rs 30 per patient, Amritsar doctor sets example

Majitha doctor has been selflessly serving patients for the past four decades

Rs 30 per patient, Amritsar doctor sets example

Dr Sudesh Kumar examines a patient at his clinic in Majitha. Photo: Vishal Kumar

GS Paul
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, July 15

A doctor in Majitha has been selflessly serving patients for the past four decades. Dr Sudesh Kumar runs a private nursing home in the rural belt of Majitha. He has been prescribing generic medicines, a much-talked about terminology these days vis-a-vis ethical practices in medicine.

Dr Kumar, who studied at Government Medical College, Amritsar, charges not more than Rs 30 from a patient, which includes the cost of consultation, diagnosis and medicines.

“I am a doctor of the ‘masses’ and not the ‘classes’. I grew up in a humble environment. I used to pedal to DAV College from Majitha daily in 1964 and then to the medical college in 1968. My father was a tailor and I could realise how hard it was for him to afford my course fee. I completed my MBBS in 1974 and could not join the government duty in Kapurthala and Sarangdev as there was no bus service. So, I started private practice at my hometown in 1975. I started from charging just Rs 2-3 per patient in the 1970s. Presently, I charge not more than Rs 30 for a two-day antibiotic dose,” he said.

Today, the doctor is successful and owns a full-fledged nursing home at Majitha. “I examine patents from 7 am to 8 pm daily. Both my sons and daughter are also doctors and work independently,” he said.

Dr Kumar procures generic medicines directly from renowned pharmaceutical manufacturers. “I use generic ones the most. It solely depends upon your doctor’s prescription and integrity. The doctors, on many occasions, get swayed by medical representatives of big pharmaceutical companies who allure them to prescribe their brand of medicines. Ultimately, the burden falls on the patient’s pocket,” he said.

When asked about the difference between generic and branded medicines, he said, “The difference is of price. The generic medicines are at least 90 per cent cheaper than the branded ones. Unlike generic, the branded drugs are priced exorbitantly due to marketing. They are protected by patents for several years whereas the fact is that pharmaceutical ingredients and potency of both medicines are exactly the same for diabetes, viral fever, cough cold and other diseases,” he added.

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