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Homeopathy treatment just a click away

In Dr Rajesh Shah's 5,000 sq ft clinic in Chembur, Mumbai, a team of nine doctors divide their time between treating visiting patients and chatting on the internet. Nowadays, they spend more and more time in front of the computer screen and their boss is not complaining. After all, they help run a global clinic in a combined offline-online format. And they're winning more and more converts to their chosen practice, homeopathy.

Homeopathy treatment just a click away
by Mahul Brahma
The Economic Times, 14 Mar, 2008

 

In Dr Rajesh Shah's 5,000 sq ft clinic in Chembur, Mumbai, a team of nine doctors divide their time between treating visiting patients and chatting on the internet. Nowadays, they spend more and more time in front of the computer screen and their boss is not complaining. After all, they help run a global clinic in a combined offline-online format. And they're winning more and more converts to their chosen practice, homeopathy.

An Article published in Economic Times

The clinic has received patients from the neighbourhood and from as far as Nigeria, Japan and Sweeden. But what sets apart Dr Shah's business is his range of healthcare websites including askdrshah.com that caters realtime to patient queries on a variety of ailments. "Sometimes, I get to treat five patients from five continents in a day. It's amazing," says Dr Shah. "Just yesterday I treated a lady from a country called St Lucia. It is a small island in the Caribbean."

Homeopathy has become so popular in India that it is often considered part of its traditional medical systems. But the world over, while newer converts are being won every day, it is still in the backwaters of medical science, Dr Shah says. Even a few year ago, the awareness was very low. "Since my college days I felt very bad about the way homeopathy was not given its due respect as a mainstream medical form," says Dr Shah, who used to distribute leaflets to popularise the discipline among his friends. "I felt it was my responsibility to make people aware of homeopathy so I saved from my pocket money to print those leaflets."

Though Dr Shah was trained in homeopathy in Mumbai, he derived his inspiration from a Greek doctor, George Vithoulkas, who once travelled all over the world spreading the gospel of homeopathy. This convinced the young Shah in 1984 to start a clinic in a 120 sq ft room with ambitions to build a global practice over time. But with little money, no contacts and a base in an obscure corner of Mumbai, he didn't know how he was going to spread homeopathy around the world.

It would be another decade before the dream started taking shape. In 1995, internet came to India and Dr Shah immediately knew he had the answer. He started learning nuances of the Web. He learnt web designing and content development. His only companion was his wife, Dr Rupal Shah, another homeopathic doctor. Next year, he launched his first web site classicalhomoepathy.com. It was an instant hit. People from all over the world sought advise online.Within a year, he started launching Web sites catering to specific disease complaints. Patients could get instant consultation, while the medicines would be shipped for a charge.

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