Gujarat, a state that has a severe shortage of doctors and medical practitioners in rural India, has come up with a unique or one might say a bizarre solution to tackle the crisis. They have introduced ‘Bal’ doctors (Kid Doctor), who will now look after children’s wellness under the state’s school health programme.
The officials with Gujarat’s Health Ministry told The Times of India, that a Bal Doctor named Kajal Bhupatbhai Khant (11), a student of class 6 is going to be their pilot project.
What is the job of the Bal Doctors?
These kid doctors will be equipped with stethoscopes and ayurvedic medicines. They shall dispense medicines to their classmates when required. They are also going to be responsible for urging their classmates to wash hands before mid-day meals.
“They will also monitor Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) Programme (of the National Health Mission) which is held every Wednesday. They will work to make their fellow students addiction-free and give primary information about seasonal diseases,” reads the order, according to The Times of India report.
“He will be given a torch, Ayurvedic medicine kit, booklets and posters of health-related problems,” said a health official. He will also be trained under a Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) of the health department. Additionally, the kid doctor will be given a stethoscope and a coat to enhance the personality.
Every school will have one doctor and the state education department will supervise his or her activities. They will be also given ayurvedic medicines which will help in curing various diseases.
Not a good idea!
The office bearers at the Gujarat chapter of Indian Medical Association thinks otherwise. Dr Yogendra Modi, president of Gujarat state branch of IMA said, “ We only believe in allopathic medicines and a person must be considered as a doctor only after he has completed 5.5 years of MBBS. This concept of allowing a school kid to give medicines is not proper.”
The Logical Indian Take
Gujarat recently joined the BIMARU states namely Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh because of the severe shortage of doctors. Now, in the wake of this crisis, it is unfair and dangerous to give the responsibility of somebody’s health on a little kid. The Gujarat state government should come up with a plausible solution to tackle the situation rather than pushing kids to the forefront to do so.