Agartala: Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha on Saturday emphasized the need to rebuild the trust between patients and healthcare providers in the state. During the 63rd foundation day celebration of the Gobinda Ballabh Pant Hospital, he urged the doctors to harken back to a time when the medical profession was held in high regard.
Dr. Saha fondly remembered the dedicated physicians of Agartala who had served tirelessly during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. He recounted the era when a single consultation with Dr. Rathin Datta or sought-after Dr. HS Roy Chowdhury could bring about remarkable recoveries. “These medical luminaries possessed qualities that earned the unwavering trust of the people. Patients, armed with faith, often showed signs of improvement with minimal medication”, the Chief Minister said.
However, Dr. Saha lamented that as time passed, this trust waned, and today, such unwavering faith in doctors is a rare commodity.
“People now opt to seek treatment for conditions that are treatable within the state”, he asserted.
Expressing his disappointment at the sparse attendance of both staff and doctors at the event, the Chief Minister observed that while the hall could accommodate up to 800 people, the turnout was underwhelming.
He contrasted this with the bustling crowds that would have gathered had the event been hosted by a private hospital. Dr. Saha underscored the importance of these events as platforms for sharing the past and embracing the present, stressing that if the medical professionals themselves do not participate, they risk losing touch with their own history.
Dr. Saha also highlighted the new initiatives undertaken by the state’s health department. He expressed his delight that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was funding research conducted by the microbiology lab at GBP Hospital. He commended the increasing involvement of doctors in research, particularly in the fields of pathology and other specialties, which brought pride to the state.
According to Dr. Saha, the government is working with a well-thought-out strategy to modernize the healthcare sector. He revealed that Rs 59 crore had been allocated under the Chief Minister Jay (CM JAY) scheme to provide health insurance benefits to more than 4.7 lakh beneficiaries.
“Additionally, Rs 53 crore had been earmarked for bolstering facilities to combat infectious diseases, and expansion plans for GBP Hospital were in progress”, he added.