Pigeon house orthopedist, Dr. Rupak Doshi, who has been practicing in Maharashtra for almost 20 years, says the orthopedists are used to working in remote areas of the country and are not used to being on the road for long periods.
“The main challenge we have is getting the patients to get up and walking,” he says.
Doshi says he spends two-and-a-half hours at his office every day.
“It is hard to get the patients out.
I have to spend time talking to them, making sure they get the right treatment and keeping them out of pain.”
Doshi’s office in the town of Dholbazar in north-central Maharashtra is also packed with patients waiting for surgery.
“We have about 25 patients waiting on each floor,” says Doshi.
“Sometimes, when the orthodists come in, they tell me to go up there and help.
They take care of all the patients in the office.”
The Dholbs are just one of many rural orthopedia centres in Maharashtra.
In Pune, orthopedies is one of the top three specialty areas in the state.
In Mumbai, orthodics is also a top specialty area.
At Dholba, Dr Doshi has treated many patients in Mumbai, including children who were born without legs.
“I have treated children who have been born with deformities like short legs,” he explains.
“They are very difficult to get them out.”
Doshias office is filled with children who had their legs amputated because of a severe case of polio.
“A few years ago, a boy was admitted in the hospital with polio and was brought back.
When we got to the hospital, he was still alive and breathing,” he remembers.
Doshi says the patients often do not have the financial means to travel from rural areas to his office in Mumbai.
“In the past, people from the district used to travel by road to our office in Pune,” he recalls.
“Now, we have to get people who have never travelled by road because they cannot afford to.
But I am happy because it is my specialty.
I get more patients every day.”
At Pune Orthopedia Centre, there are about 30 patients in waiting rooms, and about a dozen in the waiting room at Dr Doshia’s office.
One patient was waiting in a waiting room of the hospital for almost two months.
(Photos courtesy of Pune orthopedial centre, Mumbai) The children and adolescents at the centre also need to travel long distances for the surgery.
The patients who arrive in Mumbai often have the polio that was brought to the region during the pandemic, Dr Shabana Shah, the director of the centre, says.
“Some children have very weak immune systems and it is difficult for them to travel,” Shah says.
During the pandemics, doctors from all over the world travelled to India to perform the surgery, but they often find that their local centres are overwhelmed.
Shah says many of the patients are children who are too young to travel.
They are also told that they will get the polio back within a few months.” “
When they come to us, we usually treat them with medication and physical therapy.
They are also told that they will get the polio back within a few months.”
Doshias clinic also has a pediatric ward for children who cannot be treated with medication.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the orthopaedic centre is that the patients who come to the clinic are mainly from rural India. “
But sometimes, when we see a child who has a weak immune system, we do not want to give them the vaccine.”
One of the biggest challenges faced by the orthopaedic centre is that the patients who come to the clinic are mainly from rural India.
A common misconception is that orthopedically trained orthopedians are expensive.
But Shah says the cost of orthopedias is very low, and orthopedes patients are very happy to have a doctor in their corner.
With a population of about 13 million, Mumbai has the second highest population of orthopeds in India after Chennai.
According to the National Orthopedic Association of India (NIA), India has one of world’s highest numbers of orthoaedic surgeries.
Indian orthopedy is growing rapidly, but Shah says it is not just Mumbai that is seeing a rise in the number of patients.
Many other centres across the country are looking for people to take over their roles.
For a few years, doctors were only able to treat patients in rural areas, but with the advent of the pandics, these positions have