A charitable diagnostic lab, which offers lab tests at nominal rates to the poor, is being opened by Varun Motors on VIP Road on Wednesday.

Announcing this at a media conference on Monday, Managing Director of Varun Group V. Prabhu Kishore said that the lab, christened ‘Navaratnam – Kesava Rao Charitable Laboratory' in memory of his parents, was a tribute to the people of Visakhapatnam city and north Andhra for their contribution to the growth of the Varun Group. He said that he wanted to perpetuate the memory of his parents through the diagnostic lab.

He announced that the poor could avail free medical services from September 22 to 29 in connection with the inauguration.

They would have to bring a doctor's prescription and their White ration card. The facility would be limited to 50 patients a day during that period.

Mr. Prabhu Kishore said that he has been planning to serve the poor for the last three years. He had decided to start a diagnostic lab after hearing from several doctors and the general public that the poor were avoiding diagnostic tests and neglecting their health due to the prohibitive costs.

He said that his father had started an orphanage in memory of his mother in Vijayawada and it was being run successfully for the last 22 years.

He said there were plans to start charitable diagnostic labs at Nidumolu, his native village in Krishna district, and in Vijayawada during the next 18 months.

The target was to serve between 400 and 500 patients a day by 2014. He said that retired doctors who wish to serve society could do so through the lab. They would be allowed to charge a nominal consultation fee of Rs.10 or less.

Dr. Giri, a full-time pathologist, and hospital administrators Suryakala and Kala were present.

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