After Iqbal Ahmad completed his MBBS from Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore in 2009, he was selected for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) a year later.
A dream combination for most Indians. However, despite the double feat, there was something else he wished for. It took another seven years for him to be able to do what he really wanted – give free medical help to the poor. This was because he did not have a formal registration.
Iqbal, who is now the district magistrate of Champawat district in Uttarakhand, was cleared by the Uttarakhand medical council on September 15 and finally began his medical practice for the first time on Friday, reports The Hindustan Times.
Every morning, he will serve for one hour at the district hospital and will give consultancy to the locals during tours.
Champawat has only 42 doctors serving there currently, though officially 65 doctors are supposed to have been appointed. According to HT, Champawat has one district hospital and 21 other hospitals besides about 1,500 OPDs.
Moreover, the state of Uttarakhand has a requirement of about 2700 doctors but has only 1000 at the moment. IAS officers like Iqbal will encourage others like him to provide free medical consultancy to less privileged patients in the state.
Before Iqbal, there was another senior IAS officer, Dr Rakesh Kumar, who did the same. Sadanand Date, a senior superintendent of police (SSP) posted in Uttarakhand, who is also a qualified surgeon, also served the needy for free.