When the Institute for Rural Health Studies (IRHS) started its work, “Health for All in the Year 2000” was a very popular slogan but how it translated into action was ill‐understood. Rural health needs were not well understood and yet at that time more than 80 percent of the population lived in rural areas. Little interdisciplinary research existed. IRHS was established to do research on the agricultural and socio-‐economic determinants of health and nutrition with the view of helping improve rural health. Soon it became apparent that the need for healthcare was unmet. Villagers requested Dr. Pat and Bhavani to do something about the situation. Thus, their first efforts to provide health care began in Dokur village of Mahbubnagar district in February, 1982.
The components of the IRHS healthcare system are:
• Village clinics in a remote rural area of a chronically drought-‐prone district
• Travelers’ Aid for the Sick -‐ an office in the central bus station in Hyderabad
• Patient Counselors located in both the bus station office and in tertiary care level public hospitals.