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Docs missing from clinics amid yatra seasons, action initiated

Dehradun: In efforts to bolster Uttarakhand's health services for pilgrims visiting the state, the government conducted a random inspection and found that in one of the busiest medical relief points (MRP) in Rishikesh, doctors especially deployed to attend to Char Dham pilgrims were "missing and a pharmacist and a ward boy were treating the pilgrims". 
At the MRP, five doctors, five pharmacists, and ward boys are usually deployed, but the doctors had already left for the day before the arrival of the random inspection team. On the direction of senior state health authorities who conducted the inspection on Friday, action has now been initiated against those doctors found to have been missing from duty. Health secretary Radhika Jha along with other senior medical officials and administrative staff had inspected the MRP center. Significantly, so far, out of over 18 lakh pilgrims who visited Char Dham, 152 have died, mainly due to cardiac issues, in a little over a month. Most of the pilgrims who lost their lives were elderly with comorbidities. And the issue of fewer health checks is constantly coming to the fore.
Chief medical officer (CMO), Dehradun, Dr. Manoj Upreti said, "Doctors were there but they had not informed and exchanged duties with others. There will be more doctors. There will be more doctors now."
The inspection also found that the food, being served on a "broken stretcher", was "below average" at the sub-district hospital in Rishikesh, the second major checkpoint for pilgrims. Upset over "gross negligence", the CMO was told to take back the canteen's tender. Incidentally, without any announcement system, the pilgrims were mostly found not attending the MRP for health checkups. Staff at the health center have been told to install loudspeakers to announce that pilgrims over the age of 60 years should mandatorily attend health checkups. And pamphlets with information about the state advisory for a safer pilgrimage must be distributed.

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