Dr Akhansa Bhaskar, IAS, on call every weekend

The Raghunathpur SDO has decided not to let her medical education go waste and to attend patients regularly
Report by: 
Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay
Kolkata
22 Aug 2018

On the morning of August 5 young Akhansa Bhaskar, sub-divisional officer of Raghunathpur in Purulia district went out of her office to take stock of the situation at different health centres of her sub-division. And at her very first port of call at Santuri block heath centre she found to her utter chagrin that no doctor had arrived while there was a slithering queue of villagers awaiting one.
Bhaskar, doffed her identity as the SDO and donned her other identity,  a registered medical practitioner and sat to attend the patients, most of whom came from the lowest strata of the society.
And she had made it a week-end routine as the following week she visited Para Block  health centre and attended patients.
``Even when I was preparing for the civil services examinations I decided that I would  not let my training as a doctor go waste even If I became an administrator. And while I was taking the training for IAS at Mussouri I went around the villages near the academy and attended patients,'' Bhaskar, who cleared MBBS from RG Kar Medical College and Hospital in 2014 and passed IAS the following year, told the Echo of India.
The official said after she was posted at Raghunathpur the idea struck her again. ``Last Saturday in the morning since I had not much work I decided to go out and visit the health centres, to see the infrastructure, the environment etc. And at Santuri when I saw the doctor had not arrived, I sat to attend the patients. As administrator while my duty is to see that the condition at hospitals and health centres is improved, I don't feel helpless when a doctor is absent because I myself had that training. In fact I want to see poor patients on a regular basis but it is not possible because as an administrator it is not possible to do that. But I have decided that I will.spend at least  the weekends attending to the poor patients from villages. ,'' the feisty lady said.
She also said most of the patients that she saw were having infections of various kinds but what moved her most was that it was women who came to her and told her about their problems without any hesitation.
Bhaskar said she wanted to become an IAS officer after she became a doctor because she thought the job of an administrator could give her more opportunity to serve people. ``After I became a doctor I thought I should take the civil service examination because that way I could serve the society better. But I will remain  both an administrator and a doctor all through my life,'' Bhaskar reiterated.
Retired bureaucrats say they can not recall any other case of a bureaucrat and a doctor who attended patients regularly. ``I heard about one or two IAS officers who were also qualified doctors but I don't know whether they saw patients regularly.  What the young lady is doing is a much commendable job and everybody should appreciate it,'' A. B. Chakrabarty, former additional chief secretary to the state government told the Echo of India.