Fielding phone calls from the United States and the United Kingdom have become common for Dr Hari Ramesh. Sometimes he even has to answer these calls at night.
The people calling him from foreign shores are anxious and their calls are to enquire about their aged parents or grandparents living in Chennai.
To them Dr Ramesh is a godsend. For he runs a service called Home Health Care, which costs US$1,000 (S$1,271) a year for Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who wish to enrol their aged parents.
After the sign-up, Dr Ramesh and his team pay regular visits to the senior citizens signed on the programme and conduct a series of tests (including ECG, blood sugar, blood pressure). His team also extends nursing services like injections, dressing, nebulisation and catheterisation. The package includes a 24-hour doctor-on-call and ambulance service. The children of these aged patients are then updated on the progress by e-mail.
Dr Ramesh told tabla!: "The membership for this programme is restricted strictly to those who are above 80 and live alone and should not have any other son or daughter who live with them."
For the elderly who have children living with them, he has another package with an annual subscription which is less than the NRI package.
Dr Ramesh has a team of four medical officers, 42 nurses and half a dozen paramedics. Three ambulances are always on standby for emergencies and he also has some specialist medical consultants on the clinic's panel. If the need arises, these specialists visit the people enrolled in the programme at their homes for a fee. And in case they need hospitalisation they are treated at one of the two hospitals run by Dr Ramesh in the Adyar area of the city - Swaram Hospital and Padmapriya Hospital.
Dr Ramesh has 65 senior citizens who have been signed up under the NRI package and 550 in the non-NRI category - this costs Rs20,000 (S$457) a year and it is for those over the age of 70.
Almost all of those in the NRI scheme are parents or grandparents of Indians residing in the US or the UK. London-based director of Tata Consultancy Services Aditya Jaigopal Nagarajan is one satisfied NRI who signed up his grandparents for the scheme.
"We saw their advertisement in Adyar Times (a Chennai city neighbourhood paper) and spoke to them.
To be honest, I was very cautious about the nature and quality of the service as it concerned my grandparents who are 75 and 85 years old. So we went to DrRamesh's clinic in Adyar, spoke to the staff and understood how they operate," said MrNagarajan, who has been living in London for the last eight years and visits his grandparents about three to four times a year.
"I also spoke to one of his patients. Overall we developed a good feeling with him and his team. That was three years ago and we began the journey since then."
Another satisfied client is Chennai-based homemaker Nandhini Prasad who signed up her father, an American citizen, for the scheme when he moved to India.
Her brother lives in the US and she got to know Dr Ramesh about 10 years ago when her grandmother was his patient. So when he explained the scheme in detail, it impressed her sufficiently to make her enrol her father.
"My father is happy and satisfied. The doctors visiting him answer every question of his which makes him comfortable," Ms Prasad tells tabla! in an e-mail.