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‘Building the Future with Family Doctors’
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‘Building the Future with Family Doctors’

Productive investments towards the health sector must be the utmost priority of developing nations to secure the future. Family doctors are the key stakeholders in these investments.

Post by on Thursday, July 1, 2021

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Carl Jung says that, “Medicines cure diseases but only doctors can cure patients.” Our current COVID times have proved that this holds true. The only reason why many of us woke up to see another day was because of the persistent efforts of our doctors and healthcare workers. During the ongoing pandemic, many unsung heroes emerged in white coats and our gratitude for them will never be enough. Therefore, to acknowledge and thank their services towards mankind, National Doctors Day is observed on July 1. Tracing back to history, National Doctors Day was celebrated in 1991 across the country.This day is celebrated in order to pay respect to the legendary physician Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy who was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal and was honored with Bharat Ratna which is India's highest civilian award, for his immense contributions.
The theme for 2021 Doctor’s day has been chosen as, ‘Building the future with family doctors.’Family doctors are the backbone of both public as well as private healthcare systems. A family doctor is one whom all family members consult when they need any kind of medical help or assistance. It has been observed that family doctors have played a monumental role in managing the ongoing COVID crisis by not only treating the patients but also reducing the load on the healthcare infrastructure. A family doctor is our primary point of contact in our times of distress. They would not only know our health issues, but would also be familiar with the entire family, the births, weddings, and demises in the family; hencecompletely capable of connecting the dots to diagnose the cause of the infection or disease.
Family doctors play a pivotal role in observing and diagnosing diseases in patients; because they are fully aware about the medical history of their patients. Therefore, they can easily gauge the different parameters associated with lifestyle of their patients and their environment. It becomes easy for them to manage the conditions of critical patients at home rather than putting unprecedented load on the healthcare system of a country especially where the health sector is developing. Thus, they monitor their patients in a comprehensive approach. 
Family doctors provide a compassionate, people centric and compendious care, thereby contributing effectively to the goal of universal healthcare. They are crucial to the healthcare infrastructure as they are geographically distributed across the country and can create a greater impact collectively. They are the primary links between the community and the bigger medical facilities in our country. With the above being said, family doctors undeniably are more aware about the specific needs of a region, community and state. They can analyze epidemiological patterns within a community that can be considered as a sample to successfully help manage it, contain it, and treat it within the sample by leveraging healthcare resources. There is no doubt that they add to the strength of a nation’s healthcare policy and are invaluable and irreparable to the system. 
Let me cite a personal example. During my childhood, I vividly recollect that the primary health center was almost 2 kilometers away from my home. There was no doctor in our locality, except one Medical Assistant named Ghulam Hassan Mallah and we use to call him as ‘Doctor Sahab.’ Whenever any family needed any kind of assistance, he used to visit their homes even after midnight. Many people called him as their family doctor. He was instrumental in treating disorders first hand so effectively that a person would sustain until morning where he could receive specialized care. Being a Medical Assistant, Ghulam Hassan Mallah, saved uncountable number of lives. Even after his retirement, people fondly remember him as their family doctor. Another noteworthy mention is Dr. Fayaz Ahamd Bhat, who I am personally indebted to for all his selfless services to my family. 
Family doctors stay with you for life. Off late, as many specialties emerged in healthcare, their role has been undermined. Building a great relationship with your family physician goes a long way in saving and managing the overall health of your family. Our doctors have been at the forefront irrespective of their bruises, hunger and exhaustion for 24 hours. We can surely take out 1 minute today to thank our family doctor for standing by us unconditionally. While you chew on that thought, also remember that these doctors are God’s miracle workers and your answered prayers. As Seneca says, “People pay the doctor for his trouble; for his kindness they still remain in his debt.”
(Author is an RK columnist. He has done PG in Journalism and Mass Communication from IUST, Awantipora. He can be reached at:syedtasaduqnazmi@gmail.com)

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