We find the right location, secure the right partners, and create a firm timeline to ensure a successful project with maximum results. Our goal is to improve healthcare and save lives in Calcutta.
Steps to Success
Choosing the location
We build clinics where there is a lack of medical infrastructure by the government and other medical aid organizations. We target locations that are far from our general hospital in downtown Calcutta, so that people in need do not have to travel long distances for quality care.
Finding the right solution
Our general hospital provides 24-hour emergency services, 30 multi-specialty centers, an out-patient clinic, and two pharmacies to the residents of Calcutta. Our clinics generally service outlying rural villages more than two hours distance from the hospital. When a patient in an outlying village requires more intensive care, we arrange their transport and treatment at our general hospital.
Securing the right partners
We select partners according to their proximity to the area of need and their passion for providing quality care to the poor. Many clinics run in partnership with our hospital chaplains and pastors from local churches. Medical staff must meet rigorous qualifications and be recognized by the Medical Council of India, including the State Medical Council and State Nursing Council.
Applying best practices
We follow standard hospital procedure in our general hospital and clinics. We identify patients who cannot pay for care and ensure they receive free treatment and medications. Many of these patients are children. Our multi-specialty hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The rural clinics are open two days a week, for three hours each day. Here people line up for check ups and receive the care they need from a small team of doctors and nurses.
Determining the cost
It costs approximately $580,000 annually to provide free care to 40,000 patients each year. The cost of operating a clinic is based on the medical needs of the area where it is located. On average, it costs $1,200 a month to operate a clinic. Approximate cost percentages are as follows:
Staff Salaries: 35%
Rent & Utilities: 10%
Following a timeline
Free care through our hospital and clinics is an ongoing project. Hospital renovations and improvements are made on a need basis. Clinics take approximately three months to set up in a rural village.
Working with local authorities
Our general hospital is governed by the two arms of the State Health administration: the Secretariat of Health Services and Directorate of Health Services. Our administrators send reports to the governmental authorities on a regular basis for review. We are fully accredited and hold a number of licenses and certifications. The rural clinics operate under the authority of the general hospital.
Sources of funding for our medical projects include contributions from individual donors, churches, foundations, corporations, and teaching institutions. Additional funding comes from patients who are able to pay for their medical care. Payments from these patients help offset our operational expenses and the cost of free care we provide to patients who are unable to pay.
Monitoring and evaluating
Monthly financials are prepared by an external Certified Public Accountant, and Calcutta Mercy’s Executive Board reviews the monthly financial statements. The clinics are monitored by our general hospital, and submit weekly and monthly reports detailing patient numbers and cost analysis.
The standards and effectiveness of the hospital and clinics are measured by administrative review and patient feedback. Our general hospital also uses an external agency to provide “mystery shopping” feedback. We use the feedback to assess and improve the medical care and experience for patients.