CHRISTIAN MEDICAL COLLEGE VELLORE

Not to be ministered unto but to minister

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Vision Statement: The Christian Medical College, Vellore, seeks to be a witness to the healing ministry of Christ, through excellence in education, service and research

Low Cost Effective Care Unit

The Low Cost Effective Care Unit (LCECU) seeks to care for the most deprived urban residents of Vellore City. It provides health care through a 48-bedded hospital, runs family health clinics in five slum areas of Vellore, works with volunteers among the disabled in the community, and conducts home visits and outreach work in these areas. Services are provided free or at a nominal cost.

A 40-bedded facility housed in the Schell Eye Hospital campus in Vellore town and managed primarily by Family Medicine specialists, the Low Cost Effective Care Unit provides services to poor urban patients at affordable costs

 Patients pay a one-time registration fee of Rs 25. Routine care attracts no consultation fee but medicines are paid for – often at subsidised cost. Costs are kept to a minimum by p
atient counselling for better self-management, good history-taking and thorough physical examinations,prudence in requesting tests and scans, use of generic drugs and basic, no-frills infrastructure. First-time patients are required to provide proof of residence and are screened subsequently by social workers. Patients may also be referred to LCECU by the social workers and by community health and urban health nurses in the College of Nursing’s Community Health wing. 

The LCECU is one of Christian Medical College’s major responses to the poor living in Vellore city and is a testament to CMC’s commitment to the poor, disabled, disadvantaged, marginalised and vulnerable.

By providing primary and secondary health care by Family and Community Health Physicians, at low cost to the residents of Vellore and with its direct referral links to the main CMC hospital when required, it is a unique model of true voluntary ‘Social Responsibility’ that CMC designed in the early 1980s.

How LCECU provides low-cost care:
1. There is minimal yet essential infrastructure
2. Charts are maintained by patients themselves
3. Family medicine approach and judicious use of investigations
4. Limited yet essential ‘gadgets’ – eg. Ultrasound for antenatal care
5. Staff multi-task
6. Use of generic medicines
7. Easy, free or subsidized access to specialists
8. In-built subsidies for all and especially for those who cannot pay

LCECU is also unique in its ability to do partial justice to holistic health care by intervening at the social level for many patients and their families.

Additionally, LCECU is where Family Medicine has been incubated in recent years (formerly it was in the Community Health Department) and we are proud that in 2008 the Family Medicine Department was established (1st in a medical college in India). The MD in Family Medicine was started in in 2017 after years of effort by many in CMC. 

Over the years, these services have been expanded by broadening community mapping, raising the number of outreach clinics, school health programmes and community-based rehabilitation of the disabled. 

In partnership with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, through half-day workshops among college students, Project Helmet was initiated in 2014 to sensitise youth and young motorists on injury prevention and safe driving practices.

LCECU needs funds to open new outreach clinics, and develop its vision to provide “Care in the Community” to the poorest of the poor—health care, enhancing educational and training opportunities and encouraging and strengthening economic development and sanitation, through dialogue and empowerment of the community.

For clarifications / queries, write to Mr. Hugh Skeil, Manager, Development Office, CMC, Vellore. Email: dev.office@cmcvellore.ac.in or call us at the Office @ 0416 2283509.