I spent my 38th birthday doing the rounds of the government health institutes in the district of Latehar.The reason being to get permission for PHC visits for the nursing students as per their syllabus.I always get something out of these visits because there is so much about the Indian health system ,which is fascinating in it’s ability to improvise for short-sighted gains.
The government has started this fascinating coupen system for below poverty line patients,the money is handed out to the poor antenatal mothers who access health facilities when they are in the family way.The doctor incharge of a PHC lamented that on one of his routine visits to one of the villages ,he asked the villagers why the children were not immunized and they were quick to respond that no money was being doled out for it so they would not bother.
The government health centre has been equipped with expensive medicines.The villagers on the market day just walk into the out-patients routinely with vaguest of symptoms ,the doctor says with the intention of getting some medicines which are free of cost which they sell at half the price in the market or better still use it to equip their bags with..By the time a genuine patient walks into the OPD with some emergency the PH Cs have run out of those all important medicines.
What I learnt was there are two sides to every coin .This culture of looking for short-sighted gain ,is imbedded very deeply in the psyche ,has taken up mammoth proportions, and is seen in almost all walks of life in India.
This was interesting,I had most times looked at corruption from the other side of the table and was vary of the government run institutions but now this was a different take altogether……