‘Ready to serve in rural areas, but what about safety’

Medical students graduating from government-run colleges are made to sign a bond to serve at a primary health centre in a village for a year. This should be done within five years of obtaining their MBBS degree. If they fail to serve the bond, they must pay a penalty, which is a steep Rs 10 lakh for a plain vanilla MBBS doctor, Rs 50 lakh for postgraduates, and Rs 2 crore for super-specialty doctors. But now, a Pune doctor has put a Facebook post, which highlights the issue of lack of doctors’ security and basic facilities. The post also narrates about the doctor's ordeal who lost his daughter

FB-deshpande

Dr Rajas Deshpande, Director of Neurology at Ruby Hall, has put a post on Facebook, about one of the doctor, who lost his daughter while he was serving in rural areas. The post underlines the issue of lack of security and basic facilities to these doctors who are serving in rural areas. In just one day, the post has gone viral with 648 shares and more than 2.5 thousand likes.

Dr Anil Waghmare, consulted Dr Deshpande, as he has been taking antidepressants from long time. Waghamare was sad due to his 9-month-old daughter’s demise, while he was serving in Primary Health Centre at Walsangavi, a tribal village from Jalana district of Maharashtra. Poor tribal people from the village kidnapped her and demanded ransom from Waghamare in return. But, before Waghamare could arrange the sum, he found his daughter dead, due to suffocation.

“I had been serving there, since past four years. I worked for 24 hours, went for home visits and in return this village gave me death of my daughter. The family that had taken my daughter was also my patient,” said Waghamare, who is still a government doctor in rural part of the state.

He added, “Now, I cannot sleep without antidepressants. I cannot forget what has happened. For the past 14 years, I have been working in the rural parts of the state and what I have got in return is death of my daughter. Government is not at all concerned about the safety of doctors, who work in the rural areas. Also, they are not concerned about facilities that are provided to us.”

(L to R) Dr Anil Waghmare and Dr Rajas Deshpande
(L to R) Dr Anil Waghmare and Dr Rajas Deshpande

Dr Deshpande said, “There are many who serve in rural areas because they have desire to serve in rural areas or they do not have funds to invest to start their private practice in urban areas. It is duty of doctors to give their service in rural areas as well. But, it is the government’s duty to provide good security measures, for doctors who work in the rural areas.”

He further said, “A minster working in the city needs less security than a doctor working in rural areas. Also, we do not need bullet trains and beautification of cities. But, we need good health care facilities in rural areas.”

The post also mentioned that, ‘There is nothing wrong with a short term bond for service in rural areas, but while signing such a bond or joining such areas, the doctor should also ask the government for a written guarantee of security.’

‘This story should reach every blabbering idiot who has no doctor in the family and expects all doctors to be servants of the society,’ reads the post.