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My Journey to Odisha


After his experiences facilitating healthcare in the villages of Uttar PradeshBihar, and Maharashtra Dr Anantpal Singh writes about Maharashtra in his series.

One of the world’s most spectacular and resounding Hindu spiritual tourism destinations, famous for “The Holy Golden Triangle” is the beautiful state of Odisha. This state is famous for its beauty, serenity, and calmness which enthrals spiritual travellers by the heart-stirring holy darshan of its premium destinations. Anybody who visits this state is pleasantly surprised by the pleasant demeanour of the people which makes one feel extremely safe and welcome.

The total population of Odisha is approximately 5 crores, with a female to male ratio of 978 females per 1000 males and (IMR) infant mortality rate of 65 per 1000 live birth and (MMR) maternal mortality rate of 358 per 1,000,000 live births.

According to the Census figures, 61.8% of the working population is engaged in agricultural activities and the proportion of people living below the poverty line in 1999–2000 was 47.15% which is nearly double the Indian average of 26.10%.

Despite continuing rapid industrialization and absorption of urban educated populaces into the service sector, poverty remains high in the state.

We are closely trying to work together with the government of Odisha to evolve new mechanisms of health delivery to the entire state. Fortunately, the government is taking a keen interest in improving the medical health status of the people. It is also ready to bear extra expenses by paying the doctors a substantial amount and provide immensely improved facilities. Notwithstanding of this, there is a huge shortage of quality health care services and doctors in the rural areas. Mainly because a majority of doctors are not ready to work in rural areas.

Our team decided to visit Odisha in an attempt to provide end to end comprehensive medical health care. This includes consultation, treatment, generic medicines, and treatment of complications in a seamless way in the rural, semi-urban and urban areas of the state.

In the state, we came across examples of government-run community health centres which are understaffed with medical professionals. In Jajpur district of Odisha, the community health centre had only one paediatrician attending to hundreds of children in a matter of few hours. The centre has six sanctioned positions for paediatricians which are vacant for years.

The situation at other government-run primary health care centres in interior tribal areas are also not promising. The state government has announced additional incentive package for doctors in the form of salaries up to Rs 80,000 per month to those who are willing to serve in some of these difficult areas, but not many doctors are willing to come forward to work in these areas.

Dr Anantpal SinghDr Anantpal Singh is a leading physician, entrepreneur and health researcher from Spectrum Health Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Dr Singh envisions a global community with healthcare solutions which are simple to use and deliver better results than conventional methods.

Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.

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The CSR Journal Team