A recent visit to the local primary health center (PHC) in my village Bhutti in Kumarsain tehsil left me gaping! I had gone to get my daughter vaccinated for Hepatitis B. I was shocked when told there was no syringe available at the PHC. I could not simply believe my ears and asked the doctor again. This PHC caters to approximately 2,000 people of nearby villages. One can very well imagine plight of patients in an emergency. There is no medical shop in the vicinity and the nearest one is 8 km away. If this shop is closed then one has to travel 25 km away to Narkanda.
Imagine a Health Center operating without a basic thing like syringe. This has been my first brush with the rural health service. I visited the PHC around noon, which should have been a busy hour, but the PHC was without a single soul. Indeed that is good news, but considering the ‘health’ of this health center one can very well imagine why people start shunning government dispensaries.
On the other hand, Bengali ‘doctors’ here are doing brisk business. People throng their ‘clinics’ in large number for all sorts of problems. Practically, health care in rural areas is being run by these Bengali doctors. Government labels them quacks but I have seen them prescribing allopathic medicines and are readily available even in case of minor accidents. At least they keep a syringe, a bare basic requirement in medical profession.
Doctor in-charge of the PHC must be the one responsible for keeping inventory and supplies of the bare minimum requirements. Though, I do not wish to generalize but given the Tanda ‘murder’ incident, one can guess with what morals and ethics doctors pass out from medical colleges these days. Icing of the cake happens when they are posted in rural areas where they are the king of their fiefdom with least accountability and nil responsibility. Of course, the doctor alone is not to be blamed for the sorry state of affair as our general administrative setup itself lacks will,
Thanks to this incident, I now know where to head for first aid. Next time you read anything negative about the Bengali docs, just brush it off. They can be life-savers in crucial times. The babudom can meanwhile take pride in stating impressive figures on the number of PHCs opened. The netas too can wear pride on their chest by cutting the ribbons in such opening ceremonies.
Hats off to our GovernMint..!!!