Outgoing Ludhiana civil surgeon gears up for new innings

Dr Rajesh Bagga, whose term as civil surgeon ended on Thursday, is all geared up to begin the new chapter of his life. Instead of settling down in the big city after retirement, he has decided to work for the welfare of society in the small town of Dasuya.

He said that the town has limited health care services, and being a paediatrician, he can contribute towards providing affordable medical services there.

He was given a warm sendoff by police chief Rakesh Agrawal and deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma during a function held at the civil surgeon’s office here on Thursday.

Dr Bagga’s tenure was scheduled to end in July, but was extended amid the Covid outbreak.

Reflecting on 2020, he says the year will remain etched in his memory forever. “I am satisfied that I am leaving at a time when the vaccination process has begun,” he said.

“No one had ever witnessed an emergency of this magnitude. Initially, nobody was equipped to handle such a situation. Every section of society was looking up at us. In fact, the situation in the district became so dire that Ludhiana was termed the Covid capital of the state.The most shocking situation we faced was when some private hospitals were closed down due to shortage of ventilators. I am indebted to doctors and the staff who came forward in the trying times for the safety people,” Dr Bagga added.

It was during his tenure that the Ludhiana health department received a commendation letter from the state government for exceptional service in the time of the pandemic. He lauded the doctors, paramedical staff and Class- four employees for bravely fighting against the virus.

“Naming anyone in particular will be unfair. For me, everyone is a hero. Right from the sweeper who mopped floors to maintain hygiene, to the nurses, epidemiologist and doctors who remain deployed in Covid wards and even got infected themselves. Even the mass media wing and the people attached to the sampling team have done a commendable job,” says Dr Bagga.

While sharing his experience, Bagga said, “My biggest take away from the 32 years service is that we should stay disciplined, positive and keep working and not let negativity bother us.”

“During my tenure, I have seen how the poor end up losing all their savings to get health care. Actually, quality health care does not reach these towns which results in rising child mortality. I believe that people like us can bring the change. I can use my experience and expertise to serve the poor and needy. I have already got through to a few NGOs and I hope we can contribute towards the welfare of society,” says Dr Bagga, after finishing his day in office, and bidding adieu to the industrial city.

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