People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 15

April 11, 2010

Doctors For Panchayats In Bengal


THE Bengal Left Front government has put in at the service of the rural people close to one thousand more doctors. This is in addition to the several thousands of medical practitioners already set in place in the villages, especially in the remote areas.

There shall now be at least one fully qualified doctor per Panchayat.  The move shall take the state government ever closer to the rural masses as an ongoing process of pro-people action. The state government has been of the view that the residences of the doctors should be close to the place of work for benefits that shall be two-way. 

It is mortifying to note that all districts except south 24 Parganas � where the Zilla  Parishad is controlled by Trinamul party � had put in the requisition forms for the number of doctors they would like to have, mentioning in the process the gaps and lacunae at the level of the villages.  Thus, south 24 Parganas shall be bereft of the additional component of medical practitioners, this time around.  

The process of how the villages themselves fix requirement quota for doctors is interesting enough to cite as an example of people�s power.  There is a committee at the level of the Panchayat samity.  The Sabhapati of the Panchayat Samity chairs the committee; the Block Development Officer is the convener.  The committee includes such other functionaries as the Karmadhyakhsha of the mass health committee; the Pradhans of the concerned Gram Panchayats; the Block medical Officer; and an experienced medical practitioner. 

This committee sits and decides on how many health officers are required where.  The work follows the rural health mission guidelines.  Interestingly, the medical practitioners/doctors being posted include allopath doctors, homeopaths, yunani practitioners, and ayurvedic doctors.

Elsewhere, the Bengal CPI(M) and the Left Front have chosen to swear in two ministers-of-state to assist the functioning of the Bengal government.  They are CPI(M)�s Soumendra Nath (Anjan) Bera, an MLA from Pursura in Hooghly who chairs of the higher education committee of the Bengal Assembly, and is a teacher at the Calcutta University, and who shall assume charge of the M-o-S, Information, and Cultural Affairs, and RSP�s Dasarath Tirkey, who shall be the M-o-S, PWD.