Transparency

We strongly believe in maintaining transparency in our functioning as an organisation. In keeping with this principle, we have answered questions that we are asked frequently. If you have further queries, do get in touch with us; we will be happy to respond.
 

A: No. QMed is a Registered Trust. We are registered with the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai. VS was the person who conceptualized the idea of setting up this Trust to achieve changes in the medical education and research domain in India.

So none of us who works for QMed owns it.

A: For any organization to run and carry out activities, there is a need for money. So while we charge, or ask for donations, the money is used for projects, administration costs and salaries. At the end of an year, if there is a surplus, (we have not reached that stage yet), it will not be shared by Trustees or Employees, but will be used towards any of the Foundation’s objectives.

A: Since our establishment as a Trust, we have been sustaining on revenues generated by our own activities, for which we charge a small amount. But this does not cover the real expenses. We are able to manage for now, because we have a dedicated team that takes home a small salary as against competitive market salaries. Our office premises is owned by one of our trustees, who has been kind in letting us use it as our office space without any rental charges. Our trustee also provides a vehicle for commuting when required. These are huge cost savings, that allows us to focus our limited revenue on our activities.

In the last few months, (as of March 2013), we have received small grants from the SMLRT – Society for Medical Learning Resources Transfer – a body of doctors based in Chennai. We are hoping they will continue to fund us for some time to come.

Note: Our Founder, Vasumathi Sriganesh had first started QMed as a Pvt Ltd company (more about this below). We continue to do one activity (full text article delivery) under that entity, and we get some revenues through that.

A. Ideally, medical libraries can and should take on the work that we engage in, especially literature searching and training students in the use of online information resources. In fact, that is our long term vision. However, the reality is that while the government and institutions are spending large amounts of money on information infrastructure, the emphasis is on providing access. Little effort is made in training information seekers to use these resources. The result is that most users do not even know of the existence of these resources, and the few who do know about them, do not use them efficiently, simply because they do not know how to. The assumption is that most people know how to use the computer and hence also know to use resources for literature searching. But this is a myth. We are here to bridge this gap, which is why we work not only with students and faculty of the health sciences, but also with libraries/librarians to assist them in expanding their horizon.

A. QMed Knowledge Foundation was established as a Trust in 2007. As a concept, however, we started out in 1999. Back then, we were QMed Services Private Limited. We were engaged in providing copyright-cleared articles to pharmaceutical companies, and sourced articles from libraries for academic purposes on request from educational institutions. However, we realised that the concept was way ahead of its times. During this period, we realised that students and practitioners were not trained in the art of searching for medical literature. There was a need to guide medical information seekers in locating relevant articles, teach them to use online information resources, and assist libraries to organise their infrastructure for the benefit of users. We decided then, to transform into a non-profit entity and bridge the lacuna in literature searching. We were the pioneers in this field in India.

We still provide a full text article service to the Industry (Pharma etc), from QMed Services Private Limited, mainly to generate income to sustain our activities as a Foundation.

A. Our Friends of the Foundation initiative accounts for a certain portion of our revenue. Although it seems like a membership, it is not transactional, where one obtains a certain service in exchange for money. We ask for a donation, because we commit to guide the donor and assist them in their research to the best of our ability. Our aim is to empower them rather than consider our work a paid service. We also expect their commitment in empowering themselves with our guidance. The amount that each Friend donates is optional and has so far ranged from Rs. 100/- to Rs. 10,000/-
A. Please see the page – QMed Team. Two of our team members work on a honorary basis for the foundation.