All specialized doctors must to spend at least a short duration of time in rendering services to communities in villages and hilly areas of the country said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. Speaking at the launch of the 'World Simulation Society' on Sunday in Delhi at AIIMS, he urged doctors to "think out of the box" to address the nation's health issues.
The health minister said state governments were finding it very difficult to provide secondary and tertiary care. He cited an example of Mussoorrie where a large number of preventable deaths were due to lack of trained doctors in those areas. "The mismatch between the natural beauty of the region stretching from Dehradun to Jaunsaar-Bawar tribal belt, and, the ugly reality of people dying for want of even the basic primary care is a problem we must address with an out-of-the-box approach." he said.
Dr. Vardhan said, "Even after 67 years of Independence, health for every Indian is still a distant dream. But, I believe if we can put our heart and soul to it, we can achieve it. Therefore I appeal to all doctors, in every specialty to devote at least some time in small villages, where access to specialized medical services is not easy."
He suggested a unique 'Work on Holiday' approach, wherein doctors could offer their services as cardiologists, gynaecologists, neurologists and anaesthetists. Boarding and lodging for the period of their service could be taken care of by the local governments.
A series of programmes and workshops, aimed at raising awareness of eradicating "preventable deaths" are being planned by the government. "Here, everyone has been talking about treatment and not prevention, and through a series of activities and workshops involving health officials and different departments, we will focus on prevention of diseases, early diagnosis of preventable diseases", he said. "Efforts are already on to upgrade district hospitals, turn hospitals into super-specialty ones, open AIIMS-like institutions and new AIIMS in various cities ," added Dr. Vardhan.
The World Simulation Society aims at raising awareness about creating simulated medical environments through dummy patients, to prepare doctors and others for conditions such as trauma and emergency.