'Rural medical service should be made compulsory'

Disheartened at the declining health scenario in the country, Uttarakhand Governor Margaret Alva stressed the need for compulsory rural service.

Speaking at the valedictory function of the 125th year anniversary celebrations of St Martha’s Hospital in the City on Friday, Margaret Alva said: “ Our medical fraternity comprising doctors and sisters leave the country soon after their training, in order to cater to the health needs of people in the developed nations, neglecting the needs of their countrymen.”

One year of rural service should be made compulsory, she added.

Pointing at the abysmal health scenario in the country, she said a report released by the Planning Commission has outlined the decline in public healthcare due to shortage of medical personnel, non-availability of diagnostic services and paucity of medicines.

The Uttarakand Governor lauded St Martha’s Hospital for providing healthcare at affordable cost to the people, thus, making it one of best know hospitals in the City.

The 125th anniversary celebrations that began on August 2011 concluded with a cultural extravaganza on Friday.

Humble beginnings

The then Maharaja of Mysore donated 20 acres to the Good Shepherd Sisters, who were running the hospital, in 1884.

The hospital was named as St Martha’s, as the land was donated on St Mary’s feast. At the time of its establishment, the only other hospital in the City was the Bowring Hospital. However, it catered mainly to the health needs of the British Army.

The Good Shepherd Sisters, to begin with, collected Rs 13,000 from various donors and ploughed it towards the construction of the hospital. From a mere 50-bed hospital, the St Martha’s Hospital today has grown to 534-bed hospital.

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