They are physicians extraordinary. In a country where there are complaints galore against physicians for not attending duty or remaining away from duty stations only to falsely put their signature in the attendance register at the end of a month to draw salary, the two physicians at Birganj Upazila Health Complex are indeed a rare breed.
A contemporary ran a story on Dr Somoresh Das and Dr Afroz Sultana on February 27 last depicting their devotion to duty and professional sincerity. Dr Somoresh had his left collar bone broken in a bike accident a week ago. With his left hand dangling from a sling, the young physician was attending to outdoor patients -and not just 20 or 30 of them but about 300 on an average. His colleague Dr Sultana is carrying for six months and both of them should have been on a medical leave considering their physical condition -one for healing the fractured collar bone and the other for preparing her well for motherhood.
On top of treating such a large number of outdoor patients from morning till afternoon, they also have to take care of those who are admitted to the hospital and respond to emergency calls. In an upazila comprising 17 unions, there are about 0.4 million people and the rush of patients of this order is not unusual. There is another medical officer in charge of administrative job and he also has to serve as the family planning officer of the upazila. Of the two serving doctors, one candidly admits that he feels pains in his fractured hand but there are patients whose pains are greater than his. So he cannot take leave. The other puts in the same vein, it was unimaginable that patients would return home without medical care they came for.
Ever since the residential medical officer has been transferred three months ago without any replacement, these two doctors have been serving people looking for medical care without any letup. They are an example of what doctors truly should be. The duo is not physically fit but they have taken the challenge to give their best. Hats off to the two young physicians! Others in the profession should take a leaf from them and make the occupation as noble as it should be. They have stood against the general trend and proved a point. The point is that if there is will, anyone can put up a performance against all odds and despite limitations.
Doctors in particular need to do more for the ailing humanity considering the fact that the job they perform is more than a profession -a mission indeed. But few physicians take this to heart. They escape duty in government medical facilities to serve in private capacity in any place that ensures fat amount at the end of the day. There is no harm in doing some private practice but when it is performed at the expense of their duty hours or assignment in their workplace, it turns out to be intoxicating. Intoxication for money! And treachery with profession!
Teachers of government and non-government schools are accustomed to doing the same in augmenting their income. But there should be a limit to all such private practices. If they neglect their allotted duty to do so, they are doing injustice to their professions and integrity. Without integrity of character, any person is a sham, a hollow man. Money cannot buy everything in this world. If one is unfaithful to oneself, life loses its meaning. The soul is sold to the devil of money.
The two Birganj physicians have shown the nation what devotion to duty and faithfulness to the inner soul can earn. The country needs physicians like them. They surely have not done what they are doing in the hope of reward. People's love is their greatest reward. But still some formal recognition will set an example for others to emulate their feat.
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