Suryapet: Dr K Ranga Reddy of Suryapet is someone who doesn’t need any introduction. The “people’s doctor” as he is fondly referred to in the district, is well-known for his philanthropic practice since he charges only Rs 20 towards consultation. What is heart-warming is that he continues doing this even in these difficult times of coronavirus-triggered lockdown. What is noteworthy is that Dr Reddy has kept his hospital open every single day during the lockdown, which has only won him more hearts.
Aditya Hospital on Kuhakuda road, which Dr Ranga Reddy runs, has remained open throughout the lockdown period. He set an example for others by leading from the front, in providing medical services to the poor. More importantly, his consultation fee remained the same – Rs 20 – and he did not even charge for any services including administering saline and injections to the needy patients.
People from the surrounding villages affectionately call him ‘Dr Ranganna.’ On an average, 75 patients visit the hospital from the surrounding tribal hamlets and villages to avail the medical services.
A native of Athmakur (S) in the district, Dr Reddy set up People’s Nursing Home in Suryapet in 1981 after completing his MBBS from Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad. At that time, his consultation fee was just Rs 3. With rent and other expenditure going up, he shifted his clinic to Kudakuda road in 1998 and renamed it Aditya Hospital. He increased the consultation fee from Rs 10 to Rs 20 four years ago to meet increased expenditure due to hike in rent and paying salary to the compounder.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Dr Reddy said hailing from a poor family, he had seen how people struggled to pay for treatment of their ailments. This strengthened his resolve to become a doctor and serve the poor. After completing MBBS, he decided to open a clinic in Suryapet, but it was difficult to find a rented place.
“Seeing my clothes and slippers, most house owners were unwilling to rent out their place since they felt I wouldn’t be able the pay the rent. With the help of a known person, I finally managed to get a house on rent to run this hospital,” he said.
Dr Reddy said most of his patients were from poor families and he never thought about making money or buying properties. “Serving the poor gives me immense satisfaction,” he said.
He said the idea of keeping his hospital open even during lockdown was to ensure that the poor do not face trouble in getting medical help. Hospital compounder Rajaboina Janaiah said Dr Reddy had asked him not to come to the hospital during the lockdown and had managed patients all alone.
Janaiah said majority of the patients are from the tribal hamlets and villages near Suryapet. Ratnavath Rukmini, a 55-year-old patient and a resident of M G Nagar thanda in Chivvemla mandal said, “I have been consulting Dr Reddy for the past 18 years. More than prescribing medicines, he always clears misconceptions that patients may have, and instill confidence in them,” she said, adding that Dr Reddy never referred any patient to a private hospital and would always advise them to go to a government hospital.
Kolishetti Yadagiri, another patient from Kudakuda said Dr Reddy would not even collect the Rs 20 from patients who could not pay. “He would never insist on patients paying the consultation fee,” he added.
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