Practising doctors and entrepreneur-turned medical professionals are concentrated in metro cities and urban conglomerations due to wrong policies of the Government, woefully depriving people in smaller towns of quality medicare, doctors opine.

Giving `industry' status to medical care on a par with other manufacturing sectors will bring all kinds of subsidies essential to take quality medical care to every nook and corner of the country, said doctors participating in a walk organised by The Hindu in association with Krishna Nagar–based Surya Hospital, to mark the world Doctors' Day on Thursday.

AMC Principal G. Bhagya Rao flagging off the walk at RK Beach termed the event essential to keep the morale of the practising doctors high. King George Hospital Superintendent G. Shanta Rao, while complimenting The Hindu for taking up such an awareness programme, wanted opinion built among the ruling classes on the need for subsidizing investment in hospital running.

Highlighting the pathetic state of medical facilities, he said that only Visakhapatnam had the super-specialty facility among five districts around. “Vizianagaram and Srikakulam do not have a cardiologist of repute, which forces the local hospitals/nursing homes to send patients to Visakhapatnam. About 90 per cent of specialist doctors are in urban areas,” he added. At the thanks-giving campaign Surya Hospital Managing Director Y. Prabhakara Rao took exception to the doctors' community being charged all taxes/tariff at commercial rates, while they were supposed to serve the common man free of cost.

Spending maximum time with patients, talking to them, bringing transparency was key to professionalism, he added. The Hindu Regional General Manager T.V. Suresh along with a large number of people walked from RK Beach Junction to INS Kursura holding banners.