MADIKERI: The primary health centre (PHC) in Karike village of Karnataka, now has a full-time doctor for the first time ever. The health center was set up four years ago, but had since been operating without a full-time doctor.
Several appointments were made, but not a single physician was willing to work here. Regular demand by the villagers and efforts by elected representatives and the deputy commissioner could only result in the appointment of contractual doctors who would visit the village PHC once a week.
The appointment of Dr Pundaleek Lalappa Lamani at this PHC happened by chance. Dr Pundaleek was posted as CMO at the district hospital in Kanhangad, Kerala, when a boy from Karike was brought to him.
“A boy with dengue was brought to Kanhangad by his father Balaram. During my interaction with the patient, I learnt that they had traveled 70km from their village to get treatment. And, I was told by the patient’s father that there were no doctors at their village PHC,” said Dr Pundaleek, who sees 30-40 patients in a week.
Balaram, who is also a panchayat member in his village, asked Dr Pundaleek if he could visit Karike and treat patients there.
Dr Pundaleek said, “I am a resident of Bagalkot and completed my studies, including MBBS, in Karnataka. I looked forward to serving in the villages of the state and could not miss the opportunity.”