Fundraising Proposal – From Perth, WA

Vehicle for Outreach Clinics, Low Cost Effective Care Unit, Vellore India

Christian Medical College Vellore (CMC) set up the Low Cost Effective Care Unit (LCECU) as a response to the escalating cost of modern healthcare. The latest diagnostic equipment and the best drugs bring improvements in patient outcomes. However the additional costs,  compared to more traditional methods, are often out of proportion to the benefits they bring,  This places them out of the reach of many families, The LCECU aims to minimise the cost of  care through relying largely on the nurse or doctor’s clinical examination, the simplest and cheapest blood tests and low cost generic drugs.

It focuses on the slum areas of Vellore and welcomes the poorest of the poor, whether or not they can afford anything towards their treatment; hospital charges are nomina1 or voluntary. LCECU has 46 beds and sees around 60,000 outpatients and 2,000 inpatients per year, conducting about 200 deliveries.

LCECU has always carried out home visits, but in 2013 it expanded its outreach work with the support of the charity Friends of Vellore in UK. They are paying for the salaries and expenses of a team which conducts outreach clinics in different parts of the slums of Vellore. These clinics are much more accessible to people living some distance from the hospital. The  team consists of an occupational therapist, an outreach nurse and a driver, This work has  grown and clinics have been started in 4 areas of the town, Up to now the team has used a Tata Venture minivan, lent by the Virology Department, to visit the clinics. The van is too small, has a diesel engine with low power and is not suited for short journeys around the slum areas. Maintaining the vehicle has also been very expensive ?Rs 45,000 have already been spent on it for repairs although it has done only about 2,100 km.

LCECU needs an appropriate vehicle to continue the outreach work and expand to new areas where the most deprived families live. They would like to purchase a 10 seated SUV (proposed  Chevrolet Tavera) at a cost of Rs 10,77,181.00 (AUS$19,650) on the road (January 2014 price).

Recently, a couple from Perth, WA, Mr. Giovanni Torre and his wife Zareen visited Vellore. They were very much impressed by the work done by the LCECU which has moved them to kindly offer to raise funds for this project in Australia. The Director of CMC, Prof Sunil Chandy has whole heartedly endorsed their effort. We will keep you posted on how you could participate in this worthwhile project.


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