Kalimpong District Hospital and all the doctors, nurses, staff, zindabad!

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Devendra Basnet

Lock down day-40 last week, probably for the first time in my life, I went to the local Government district hospital to see an orthopedic doctor as I had hurt my back while exercising. I got the consultation check-up, an X-ray and a MRI scan plus 3 types of medicines for a registration fee of just Rs 2 (two Rupees!). I just couldn’t believe it. I would have had to pay at least Rs 5000 just for the MRI scan in a private clinic. The hospital was clean, the equipment in excellent condition, the facilities and services were as good as in any private establishments in town, if not better. To top it all, this regular public health services were being provided during these unprecedented times when the system was overstretched by the virus pandemic and all types of extra precautions had to be taken. After this experience, I feel like a fool to have paid exorbitant fees in private clinics/hospitals all these years.Ponder these facts. It is estimated that India’s private medical system owns 3 out of 4 of all hospital beds, 8 out of 10 ventilators in the country yet is handling less than 10% of the serious corona virus cases. The private health sector is more or less paralyzed and is of very little help to stem the pandemic in India. So far, at least. It is highly commendable that the Government health system in India is managing the COVID-19 virus pandemic single handedly. The countrywide testing labs, quarantine centers and hospital treatment of thousands of virus patients is taking place on a free-of-cost basis. By and large the private hospitals are out of the picture. This is by far the greatest service provided to the population at large in India. It’s time that the public and government work together to strengthen the government health service system throughout the country for the benefit of all. We the public should also play our part by restoring our faith in the government health system rather than run to a private clinic/hospital for even minor ailments. If we take advantage of the public health system and make it a voting issue there can be an even greater improvement in this sector. My recent pleasant experience was an eye opener and will definitely visit the government hospital more often in the future. Kalimpong District Hospital and all the doctors, nurses, staff,  zindabad! Indian Government healthcare  zindabad! PS: My thanks goes to my friend, staff nurse Ashmira Manabi for her kind help in guiding me around the hospital service points. #CoronaVirus#IndianHealthCare#KalimpongHospital

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