On the eve of National Doctors’ Day (July 1), Union Minister of Health, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has felicitated the fraternity for its contribution at all levels of the health care system. Dr Harsh Vardhan reached out to practitioners, whether in allopathy or traditional and indigenous medicine systems, with a message to recall the vision of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, the great physician and political leader on whose birth and death anniversary this day is observed. Dr Roy had received the Bharat Ratna in his lifetime, in 1961.
“Significant work is being done in the fields of medical research. Doctors are serving as teachers, serving the armed forces, the vibrant non-government and voluntary sectors and coping with hard conditions in primary health centres across the country. In times of natural disaster they are forgetting their own safety and plunging themselves to serve those battered. I salute them wholeheartedly,” the Minister said. Dr Harsh Vardhan reflected, “For me every Doctors’ Day takes me a little closer to the truism that, in the field of health care, we doctors hardly succeed in living out the true potential ingrain to our instincts and training. We can do so much to prevent disease but devote most of our waking moments to curing conditions. Let us change this.”
The old saying “Prevention is better than cure” powers the Narendra Modi government’s public health agenda, the Health Minister stated. As Minister of Health, he said it will be his duty to lower the country’s disease burden by promoting the healthy lifestyle which includes consuming wholesome food and exercising. “At the same time the Prime Minister has instructed me to effect complete transformation of our health sector through research, innovation and the latest technology,” the Minister said. He also called for infusing a culture of introspection in the fraternity. “We have to acknowledge that the image of the doctor has somewhat fallen in the public perception. New positivity need to be injected in our attitudes to correct this, as, it is not desirable to have a country without faith in its doctors”, Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out.
He referred to the need for increasing the size of the medical community as the doctor to population ratio in the country is far from the minimum prescribed by World Health Organisation. “India needs more doctors now more than ever before. Building healthy lives would enable us realize the demographic pidend that is promised from having a youthful population. So, let us treat this Doctors’ Day as a day for renewing our pledge,” he said.