Express News Service

RANCHI:  In sharp contrast to many private doctors who took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to fleece patients, a general practitioner in Ranchi has been providing free medical advice to the sufferers, both online and offline. 

Though Dr Anil Kumar has been doing this for quite some time, his free services began in a regular and organised way after the Covid-19 outbreak. So far, he has provided free treatment to more than 3,000 patients online and offline. 

Dr Kumar says when Covid-19 was at its peak and many doctors were keeping away from patients, he thought of starting online treatment. He gave out his phone number on social media and urged people to contact him anytime.

More than 500 people are directly linked to him through WhatsApp and are seeking advice from him round-the-clock, for which does not charge anything. He also offers free service to those who inform him about their inability to pay. 

He says he was inspired by his mother who blamed doctors for charging huge money from patients. “My WhatsApp group ‘Save Life Mission’ is meant to offer free medical advice,” says Dr Kumar. “My mother wanted me to become a doctor and help the poor and needy with free medical advice and treatment.” 

After passing out from Nalanda Medical College in Bihar in 1995, Dr Kumar joined the Gujarat government. He returned to Ranchi in 2001 to join the Jharkhand government. He worked extensively in rural areas till 2005, after which he started doing private practice.

One of his patients, Vicky Kumar, says Dr Kumar is available online to interact with anybody, anytime. “Given the poor state of medical facilities in government hospitals, he is like an angel for us,” said Vicky. For Lal Muni Mahto, Dr Kumar is the best option in case of medical need.