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Lava Bazzar, Lava, Kalimpong, Distt. Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Touched by the plight of the villagers he met who suffered needlessly from curable diseases simply because of ignorance and lack of access to care, the Third Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche decided to establish a clinic to serve them.
The Jamgon Kongtrul IIIrd Memorial Health Care Centre opened in December 1995. In addition to primary health care, the clinic also serves as a link with the diagnostic and treatment facilities in Kalimpong (1 hour away by car) and Siliguri (3 hours by car). The only health care facility in the area until 2007, today it is still the main health care facility for 32 remote villages within a 25 kilometre radius of Lava village.
The cost of healthcare is basically subsidized through donations although a minimal token fee of is charged for consultations. Medications are sold at cost and those donated to the clinic are given free. There is a a resident nurse, and a doctor trained in western medicine as well as a pharmacist who visit weekly. Both the doctor and nurse are familiar with the people, their customs and traditions, and therefore have the trust of the community.moreover, the doctor has an excellent working relationship with other health care professionals in Kalimpong and Siliguri.