“The sheer commitment of Dr Rana towards his people made me make up my mind to come down here and settle down along with my wife,” says Dr Singh. With both their daughters married and settled abroad, Dr Singh and wife Veena find solace in the service of Dasmal villagers.
While Dr Singh attends to regular patients, his wife acts as an administrator for the hospital. “My job is to ensure this place runs without any difficulty and the patients who come here get quality healthcare,” she says. Recently, the hospital added a physiotherapy section with 15 beds on the first floor of the hospital. “Because of the difficult terrain, we often get patients with severe pain in the back. So we added this facility so that they do not have to travel to Shimla,” says Veena.
Dr Subhash Sharma, a physiotherapist, was similarly approached by Dr Rana. “One day I received a call from Dr Rana. He introduced himself and informed me about this hospital and asked me if I was interested in the offer,” recounts Dr Sharma. “Since I belonged to Himachal Pradesh, an offer to serve my own people excited me and it did not take me long to make up my mind.”
Dr Rana made good use of his association with Sir Ganga Ram hospital too. When telemedicine centres tarted in the Delhi hospital in 2007, Dr Rana made sure he got one for his village too. The centre at Parvati hospital is linked to the Sir Ganga Ram hospital through video conferencing and thousands of rural patients have been benefiting from the specialisation available in the capital.
“Telemedicine facilitates consultation with the experts at Ganga Ram hospital through video conferencing whenever complicated cases come to us,” says Dr Kunwar Mehar Singh.
Dr Rana also ensured that his hospital got a dialysis machine. “People in and around my village had to travel all the way to Shimla or Chandigarh, so we had to have our own facilities,” he says. The Rotary Club of Hamirpur donated a dialysis machine in May 2009, making Parvati hospital only the second in the entire state to have this facility.
The district administration too appreciates Dr Rana. “We provide all the help he requires in fulfilling his pious objective. I have sanctioned Rs 3.5 lakh for expansion of the hospital,” says Abhishek Jain, district collector of Hamirpur. Word has travelled to Delhi too which honoured him with a Padma Shri last year. Carry on doctor.
(This first appeared in Governance Now magazine dated March 16-31, Vol.01 Issue 04)