DM & doctor: IAS officer to attend to poor patients in Uttarakhand’s Champawat
Dr Iqbal Ahmad had in 2009 completed his MBBS from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in Karnataka. A year later, he was selected for Indian Administrative Service (IAS).dehradun Updated: Sep 23, 2017 13:05 IST
When Iqbal Ahmad, now the district magistrate of Champawat district in Uttarakhand, joined the civil services in 2010, he did not just have the aim of serving the nation, but wanted to go the extra mile.
The young officer had in 2009 completed his MBBS from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in Karnataka. A year later, he was selected for Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
However, the Kanpur-born Ahmad had to wait for another seven years to fulfil his “old wish” — to give free medical consultancy to the poor — as he had “no formal registration”.
“On September 15, the Uttarakhand medical council cleared the registration and now I can serve,” Dr Iqbal told HT.
On Friday, he walked into the district hospital and started his medical practice for the first time.
The district magistrate will serve for one hour every morning at district hospital. During tours, he will give consultancy to the locals.
Dr MS Bora, chief medical officer of Champawat, welcomed the move, saying, “DM Dr Iqbal’s dececison would motivate our health department and the needy of the district would definitely benfit from his one-hour medical consultancy.”
Champawat has only 42 doctors out of the 95 sanctioned. It has one district hospital and 21 other hospitals besides about 1,500 OPDs.
Uttarakhand has almost 60% shortfall of doctors. Against a requirement of 2,700 doctors state has just 1,000 doctors.
Kumaon commission, Chadra Shekhar also welcomed the decision, saying “If an IAS like him wants to utlize his specialization for the common public, it will benefit the state.”
Shekhar recalled that earlier, a senior IAS officer from Uttarakhand, Dr Rakesh Kumar, also an MBBS holder, had served the people by providing free medical consultancy.
Another officer to have done the same is Sadanand Date, a senior superintendent of police (SSP) posted in Uttarakhand, who is also a qualified surgeon.