The Compassionate Doctor
Padma Shri Dr DS Rana, Chairman, Board of Management of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is completely down to earth and has no airs about him, even as he has ascended to the topmost seat of the hospital. Compassion for poor patients is one of his attributes that is daily in evidence in the hospital. In the present scenario, when private health providers mostly are given to unconscionable laissez faire and driven only by lure of lucre, such a doctor as full of human milk of kindness for patients should normally be a contraindication. But surprisingly enough, this is one attribute of Dr Rana that has endeared him to the Trust Society of the hospital, which is constituted by the scions, of Sir Ganga Ram, the great philanthropist, for whom free treatment of 20 per cent of the poor patients is the only profit they expect from the hospital. In Dr Rana, they say, the Trust Society has found the real custodian of poor patients and their true conscience keeper.
True to their wish, poor patients, under Dr Rana’s stewardship, have assumed a larger-than-life stature. After he took over as chairman of the management board of the hospital the first thing he did was to make it mandatory for the senior consultants to themselves sit in the free general ward of the hospital and also mark their presence on the register kept in the ward. As son of an army officer, (Retd) JCO, Jay Singh, discipline must be in his blood but, when it comes to poor patients, he lets it be broken with impunity. Naturally, he is for ever ‘chased’ by poor and needy patients. They expectantly barge even into his august chamber and he does not disappoint them.
Though he has the knack of ‘diagnosing poverty’ in a patient but, if you are a smart fellow and can even pose to be a poor patient, he will help even to the point of being considered gullible. That has been the real concern of his acolytes who are watching him as a Good Samaritan in Sir Ganga Ram for more than 20 years from close quarters. According to them, he is such a compassionate doctor that he, sometimes, easily lends himself to be taken for a ride too. But Dr Rana enjoys even this. They have seen him even with a ‘begging bowl’ for poor patients. Distributing free medicines to the poor patients is the only hobby that he knows and, for which he is often seen asking for more and more sample medicines from medical representatives of pharmaceutical companies. And why not, as a devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba, he has taken the faith statement ‘love all-serve all- hurt never-help ever’ as a preamble of his profession which is as sacrosanct as his faith itself.
It is this compassionate nature in him which takes him frequently to his village, Dasmal, in Hamirpur district of HP, where, thanks to him, a hospital will very soon come up for his fellow villagers. To the question what is his mission statement as a doctor, he says, “passion for his profession and compassion for patients”, not easily reconcilable aims.
As Head of the Department of Nephrology, he has already made Sir Ganga Ram Hospital as one of the biggest dialyses and kidney transplant centres in the world. Now, as Chairman of the Management Board of the hospital, he has taken upon himself to jack the hospital to the level of best in the world like Mayo clinic, Cleveland clinic and Harvard School of Medicine. And if you count what he has done in mere one year of his stint as Chairman of the Management Board, he is speeding right on the highway of his aims. Gripmer (Ganga Ram Institute of Postgraduate Medical Research) and the establishment of the state-of-art Robotic Institute are two valuable feathers that he has embellished Sir Ganga Ram with.
By D Kumar