The 50-year-old Guru Harkrishan Polyclinic Bangla Sahib | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrintMRI scan at Rs 50, dialysis at Rs 600 — Delhi gurdwara readies ‘cheapest’ diagnostics centre

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New Delhi: An MRI scan for Rs 50 and a dialysis for Rs 600 — come December, the upcoming diagnostics centre at Delhi’s Gurdwara Bangla Sahib promises to provide tests at the “cheapest” rates for those who can’t otherwise afford them.

Located in the heart of the national capital, under the shadow of the building that houses the main prayer hall, the diagnostics centre is being set up by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) in the Gurdwara’s 50-year-old dispensary.

“We get a lot of people here who are poor. A lady told us that she wants to get her son’s MRI done and for eight months she has been waiting and that she doesn’t have the money,” DSGMC president Majinder Singh Sirsa told ThePrint.

The committee put together Rs 6 crore, besides donations from several individuals, with which they bought four dialysis machines, an MRI, X-Ray and ultrasound machine.

Diagnostics centre

According to Dr Pawan Deep Singh, a radiologist who has been advising the committee, the idea for setting up a diagnostics centre had been in the works for a few years.

“The idea of putting up the MRI scan has been going on for a couple of years. The whole idea was to serve poor people and help poor people...We are doing it at a low cost that would help the poor people. Normally, the MRI costs Rs 6,000-8,000,” Singh, who runs his own diagnostics centre in the city, told ThePrint in a telephonic interview.

Another of the committee’s advisors, Dr Arvinder Singh Soin, a surgeon at Medanta Hospital whose Twitter post on the centre went viral, explained how the low-cost diagnostics centre would function.

“If you look at their pharmacy (at the polyclinic), all the medicines are directly bought from the manufacturers...They (the Committee) runs the pharmacy, it pays for the operational costs and the medicines are bought at a very basic cost and sold without any profit to the user...The same thing will happen for the ultrasound and the MRI, and the X-ray as they have been procured with donations,” Soin said.MRI scan at Rs 50, dialysis at Rs 600 — Delhi gurdwara readies ‘cheapest’ diagnostics centre

Inside the Guru Harkrishan Polyclinic Bangla Sahib where the diagnostics centre is being set up | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint

Also read: Meals for needy, shelter for hospital staff — Delhi gurdwaras step up with aid for thousands

Doctors volunteer to work

For now, two large rooms have been earmarked for the dialysis and MRI machines in the nearly 20,000 square-foot polyclinic. Dr B.J.S. Sarang, medical superintendent at the polyclinic said that while the dialysis centre will start operations from October, the MRI machine will be functional from December.

“We will have an entire unit to look after the machines, one specialist and then two doctors and two technicians and one Class 4 (worker),” Sarang said, standing in the empty room which will house the dialysis machines.

Sirsa pointed out that some of the work will also be outsourced to doctors and technicians. “The running professional services of this are all being outsourced to doctors, technicians and radiotherapists and readers. We will outsource to everyone...We are associated with a lot of doctors who are voluntarily doing sewas. Some of them have also offered us the kit required for the dialysis.,” he said.

The polyclinic itself has around 32 doctors who are volunteering to work as consultants.

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint

‘Service to humanity’

This is not the first time that the Gurdwara has made headlines for its act of charity. In the months following the announcement of the nationwide lockdown on 24 March, the Gurdwara prepared meals for over 75,000 people who had been left scrambling for daily meals.MRI scan at Rs 50, dialysis at Rs 600 — Delhi gurdwara readies ‘cheapest’ diagnostics centre

Sirsa said the pandemic had especially reinforced the idea of “service to humanity”, a dictum that underlines the diagnostics centre as well.

“In the country today we have very good health services, but the government has limitations. They don’t have so many resources that they can cater to everyone,” he quipped.

“And not just the Sikhs, our services are for humanity, we don’t differentiate between Sikh, Hindu and Muslim. We don’t offer service by checking someone’s rations card. We are just doing this for the sake of humanity. And, those who contribute to us are also not from one community.,” he added.

Also read: Bangla Sahib Gurdwara opens low-cost pharmacy, does about Rs 1 lakh business a day

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