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Physical medicine & rehab now possible at all 3 teaching Delhi hospitals

December 25, 2018

The efforts of disability right activist Dr Satendra Singh have finally paid off with a small, yet positive step taken by authorities regarding physical medicine and rehabilitation services in Delhi government Hospitals.

Authorities have agreed to form an advisory committee under the Secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare. The committee will work out the details for setting up of a Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in all three major hospitals run by the Delhi government.

These three hospitals are Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. The committee will consider the provision of creating a 30-bed PMR facility in each of these hospitals.

I have been making this demand for a long time and finally some action has been taken. I hope that government will take up the matter of PMR services seriously and make it available in all parts of the country. It is also hoped that various stakeholders will be involved in future decision and policymaking matters by the government to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in health care related decisions. - Dr Satendra Singh, Disability rights activist.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or PMR is a branch of medicine that provides treatment and rehabilitation to people with disabilities. A trained physician in this field is called a physiatrist.

The idea behind PMR is to ensure that all the different disabilities are catered to under one dedicated section making it convenient for patients to get their health issues resolved.

Various disability specialized departments such as physical, occupational, recreational, speech therapists, nurses, psychologists, medicine and surgery are all brought under one service center. This not only makes treatment accessible for patients with disabilities, it also increases chances of better diagnoses and effective treatment.

Dr Amit Ranjan, a PMR specialist at Safdarjung Hospital spoke to Newz Hook about the development.

"I am very happy about the step taken and hope that results will soon come and PMR will be made available at Delhi government hospitals. A consolidated facility is very vital to address the health issues of patients with disabilities."

Dr Ranjan also said that the PMR should be made a part of the MBBS curriculum in all medical colleges to create awareness.

The setting up of PMR in various government hospitals is a basic health facility for people with disabilities and yet it is not made available to them in India. Few central government hospitals in select states offer the PMR services. This deprives many disabled people in the country from getting basic and much needed expert care.

Patients with disabilities have various health issues that need to be addressed by experts from a particular field and may not be dealt with properly by regular doctors.

ALSO READ: Disabled students in West Bengal cheer move to reserve 5% seats in higher education

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