The medical and health department in Rajasthan on Friday served show-cause notices on two government doctors for wrongly pamphleteering “Two pegs a day, keeps cancer away” as the World Cancer Day message in Bikaner, chief medical and health officer Devendra Choudhary said.
He said as per the rule, a government official cannot promote use of liquor in any form. He said the doctors Indira Prabhakar and Jethmal Ranka had written, printed and proof-read the matter for publication. They have admitted to the mistake. But, they are yet to file their replies for this negligence, Choudhary said.
Medical department sources said the two-page pamphlet in the first paragraph read, “If you are having a normal food then consumption of one or two pegs of liquor is good for your health.” This they said could have a dangerous fallout for the patients suffering from cancer.
Soon after the pamphlets did the round, the media highlighted it and the health department withdrew them with an apology. Deputy chief medical and health Indira Prabhakar said that they wanted to write that an excess consumption of liquor could be harmful for a liver patient.
“But the message went totally wrong,” Prabhakar regretted.
Health experts said all such messages should be routed through language and matter experts to ensure the published word carried the right message. Some said the intentions of the officials concerned might have been positive, but a lack of commonsense turned it all negative.
Others said there should be a standard procedure for publishing such pamphlets. They should first be escalated to the right verticals before bringing them into the public domain.