In a bid to revolutionise rural healthcare, Dr. Sunilkumar Hebbi started Mobile Doctor Clinic, a non-profit initiative under the aegis of the Matru Siri Foundation based in Bengaluru. “Simply put, it is a free clinic on wheels. We travel to slums and villages which do not even have a proper public transport system, forget hospitals. Even mobile networks are alien to these areas,” says Dr. Sunilkumar.
It all started in 2018 when Dr. Sunilkumar, who was working in a private hospital, witnessed an accident which injured Anil, a beggar. He was lying on the road, unattended. Dr. Sunilkumar immediately administered first aid and took Anil to the hospital and cared for him.
“After this incident, I was deeply disturbed and realised that affordable healthcare was completely out of the reach of the poor and downtrodden,” Dr. Sunilkumar recollects. He started working with NGOs actively after this incident, and also cared for a boy who injured himself at work - making sure he got the medical care he deserved.
Dr. Sunilkumar started with helping 600 poor patients a month. Soon, he converted his car into a mobile clinic and launched the Mobile Doctor Clinic. The vehicle is equipped with medicines and apparatus to check blood pressure, sugar level etc. It also carries an ECG machine. Now, he serves at least 1,500 patients in a month.
“Our aim is to help the underprivileged. Most people in these areas do menial work and suffer mostly from skin-related ailments. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, these allergies can worsen and become life-threatening,” Dr. Sunilkumar notes.
The Mobile Doctor Clinic provides all-round care for patients — everything from doctor’s consultation to medicines and diagnostics, is absolutely free of cost. Today it serves more than 28 villages and urban slums. “If these poor villagers and slum dwellers go to a hospital in the city, they need to spend a day and approximately 1,000 rupees, excluding medicine costs. The Mobile Doctor Clinic saves time and expenses for these people, who are mostly daily-wagers earning only around 250 rupees for a day's hard work,” he adds.
Dr. Sunilkumar faces many challenges, but he does so with a smile. He wants to reach more villages and slums, but finances are a barrier. “There have been circumstances where we could not save someone’s life because of a lack of equipment. We need money to buy more devices, medicines and pay doctors’ salaries,” Dr. Sunilkumar explains.
With your support, this doctor can expand this initiative and reach more people in need through his mobile clinic. Affordable healthcare is a human right and you can make sure that nobody is denied medical care due to a lack of funds.
Click here to support Dr. Sunilkumar and his Mobile Doctor Clinic