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Dhabas or 5 Stars…What does your Janta need??

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Open letter to the Chief Minister

By Dr Alok Ahuja

We are all aware of the paucity of medical services in the country and we also know for a fact that even if we double the 450 medical colleges that exist today we will still be short of the requirements of doctors till 2050.
States like Uttarakhand are the worst hit and paupers as far as medical services are concerned. As for the health indices in Uttaarkhand, which measure the health service impact, the less said the better!!
The UK Government has been working at 30% strength of doctors since inception and has failed to attract the best talent.
Hospitals like CHCs and PHCs are in shambles, with neither human nor machine resources.
IN the present situation, it can only be a dream to provide good maternal child health schemes…forget the high ended MRI Scans, Hi Tech Labs and all Super Specialties in each district.
Now, on the other hand, let’s look at what the members of the Indian Medical Association have done in the last 50 years.
The crippled state is supported in most of its districts and rural areas by dedicated medical entrepreneurs. They have invested their own funds with no government support and created small working facilities, generated employment opportunities and provided services which were in dire need.
On the one hand, we are inviting business houses by conducting big shows projecting the investment climate in Uttarakhand while, on the other hand, Healthcare investments are being strangled by draconian laws like CEA aimed at creating a hierarchy of Inspectors and Licenses.
It is a fact that the best workforce in the country is of the Entrepreneur Healthcare providers who are available in every nook and corner; every gali, mohalla, bylanes and colonies, serving the people 24 hours/365 days a year…the DHABAS of your kingdom. The janta values this service and your government’s insistence to trouble and close them is perceived as unfair and unjust.
What do people of Uttarakhand need – 5 Star hotels or nice clean Dhabas?
The common man of UK cannot afford the Corporate Hospitals and even the financially well off strata are scared to go to them for regular needs. The neighbourhood friendly hospital has an even more important role in this era of spiraling healthcare costs. It’s not that I undermine the value of super-speciality hospitals but the point the government must realise is first tier/second and third tier support in healthcare are all important and each has its own niche and significance.
On the quality front there is not much for me to say.
Competition throws up the best of quality and prices for the common man. The IMA members are regularly updating their enterprises in all spheres including human resource, education and equipment.
Who reaps the benefits of this ‘free market’?
The People of Uttarakhand.
Why is IMA opposed to the CEA?
Members are not against registration. In fact, it is in their interest to register as it will eliminate Quackery and IMA has solidly campaigned for it. How many times do you want to register us, take fees and cause harassment?
IMA Members are already registered with all details in Medical Councils. If Bar Council members are not asked for multiple registrations, then why the Medical Council Registrants?
Establishments’ data is submitted by IMA to the CMO’s office. Then why this special interest? PM Modi promotes ease of doing business, single windows and e-governance…why not follow his advice?
The CEA permits government machinery to walk into doctors’ premises, find small clerical errors and create big news and harassment and as per our previous experience. This Inspector Raj encourages dishonest methods. How will a CEA Inspector inspect a leading Cardiologist’s work when there are none employed with the Government?
Yes, in all probability a director from the office will find some odd reason to harrass and the hafta system will firmly find its place.
Naa Khayenge …Naa Khaaney Denge … implemented!!!!
Please also remember, unlike politicians who come once in 5 years, the doctors are intricately woven into the social fabric of society; are even confidantes and mentors within the families they serve.
Do not underestimate their indirect power to influence the masses and here I need to clarify…please do not read between the lines and interpret this as a political statement, as IMA is an apolitical organisation and intends to maintain its character. What I imply is that unhappiness seeps through the fabric like colours on white cloth!!!
Karma comes around.
Now that I am on the word Social, the achievements of members of IMA Uttarakhand have been no less than extraordinary, winning the Best Branch awards nationally year after year!! Apart from the hundreds of camps done for the poor and underprivileged year after year, the IMA has been the core facilitator of building Healthcare Infrastructure in this State…a project which brought people of all races and caste together; built brotherhood; banished the murky ills of professional blood, made people donate the most precious blood voluntarily by building the IMA Blood Bank of Uttarakhand. Following the Kedarnath tragedy, the IMA has quietly built and handed over a Hospital at Guptakashi, with no fanfare at all.
It was this support that allowed Corporate Hospitals to come to Dehradun. And whom do you credit with this vision and social effort? Yes, the same small united efforts of the Medical Dhabas of our society!!
Let us not treat the Association of Intellectuals like Plebeians. On its part, the IMA has displayed statesmanship like patience, and adopted mature diplomacy…. Let us not be ungrateful.