Most often, they believe in the word of their good old doctor

People have mixed views about general medical practitioners who are considered family doctors. While some continue to visit such doctors for every ailment, there are people who go to specialists directly.

B. Vijayakumar, a former Vijaya Bank employee, and his wife, have faith in their physician in Balmatta. “From there, I go to the doctor he refers,” says Mr. Vijayakumar, who lives in Kulashekara. But there have been instances where he has gone to specialists directly for aliments such as those related to his eye.

“I consult neighbours and friends and choose the doctor. I do this to avoid doctors who advise routine tests and drain our pockets,” he says.

Mr. Vijayakumar prefers going to clinics than the corporate hospitals, which, according to him, fleece patients.

The family of N. Vaman, a newspaper vendor, has two doctors. He and his son go to one physician while his wife and daughter go to another. “This has been the practice for over a decade. It is more of a trust we have in the treatment given by these two doctors,” he says.

While his doctor charges Rs. 100, his wife and daughter each pay Rs. 200 as consultation to their doctor.

The only time he got treated outside was when he met with an accident two years ago in which he suffered a fracture.

Similar is the case with Patric D'Souza of Bikarnakatte. Mr. D'Souza's daughter, who is now studying a degree course, continues to visit the paediatrician near Bunt's Hostel. “We have been taking her to that doctor always. She trusts the doctor,” says Mr. D'Souza.

For A. Vinay and his family in Valencia, the advice of their family doctor in Balmatta is like gospel truth.

“We take medicines such as DCE (Diethyl Carbamazine Citrate) tablets (given annually to control Filariasis) only if our doctor advices us,” he says.

Sanjeev K, who moved into the city recently, relies on the advice of his physician in Hubli.

However, he prefers going to a hospital in Kankanady. “It's possible to get services of a lot of specialists at the hospital by paying a nominal out-patient charge,” he says.

Home remedy

Apart from taking allopathic medicines, Mr. D'Souza and his family members also turn to home remedies. One of them is the oil made out of coconut, curry leaves and jeera.

“It takes one whole day to prepare. About 300 ml of this oil lasts four months. It is good for hair and also reduces body heat,” he says.

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