From hustling to fulfill parents dream to becoming a nationally acclaimed surgeon; Dr. Rabin Behera has proven to be a doctor par excellence

Dr. Rabin Behera, is a nationally acclaimed MIS (Minimum Invasive Surgery) surgeon. Being a physician was not his choice of him in the first place, but as the only son of his parents of him, it was their desire of him to see him become a doctor and serve the needy. Fortunately, things worked in his favor & in 2007 he was conferred with the national award as Best Laparoscopy surgeon of the nation there and best service doctor in the Ministry of health Malacca. He has also got permanent residentship in Malaysia. But his attachment from him to his homeland and urge to serve the people pulled him back to Odisha and at present, he is the director of HiTech Medical. Since the last 41 years, he is serving his land of him with all his heart and soul of him.

Before we start, would like you to share your journey. What drove you to this noble fields?

My parents had spent their entire lives in Nilgiri village of Balesore. Being their only child, they wanted me to move out of the village, dreaming of making me a doctor so that I could serve the needy. I still remember the day when I got into SCB Medical College. I was immensely happy that I was going to fulfill my parent’s dream.

I completed my MBBS and started practicing. Eventually, I got an opportunity to work in the Ministry of Health Malaysia, where I worked for 15 years from 1997 to 2011. At Malaysia I got the exposure to high level of modernized training and ultimately I became a national trainer of MIS (Minimum Invasive Surgery) laparoscopy surgery. I was also conferred with the national award as Best Laparoscopy surgeon of the nation there and best service doctor in the Ministry of health Malacca, in 2007. I also got permanent residentship in Malaysia. But for the affinity towards my homeland, I returned back to Odisha to serve the people here. At present I am director of HiTech Medical. Today after 41 years of service to the patients, I can definitely admit that I am extremely happy about where I am today.

Since you have been accredited as an MIS (Minimum Invasive Surgery) Expert and Trainer, would you like to share what is MIS and implications? How popular is MIS in Odisha at present? Please share your views.

The MIS or the Minimum Invasive Surgery is a surgery technique in which we do not have to make large cuts on the patient’s body to operate on them. Through MIS, we can see the entire abdomen, analyze the abdomen contents and conduct the surgery all by making an incision of less than 10mm. With that minimum incision we can also record the procedure. The method is not only safe for patients but medical legally we are also safe because everything is video recorded.

Personally, I prefer to use MIS for my surgeries. As a gynaecologist I do more than 90% of the surgery through MIS. The technique can be used for a number of surgeries depending upon the expertise of the doctor. But sometimes certain cases like cancer or many other inoperable cases we are bound to make larger incisions which are unavoidable.

As far as popularity is concerned, MIS is being used widely in Odisha for more than a decade now. But we know it by another name that is ‘Laparoscopy surgery’. The use of MIS ensures faster recovery of the patient besides it leaves behind a bare minimum scar. Furthermore, a patient operated through MIS gets back their mobility within the same day and is discharged very soon. Due to increased awareness, many patients are opting to be operated through MIS.

You are currently the HOD of MIS & Reproductive Unit at Hitech Medical College and Hospital, Bhubaneswar as we all know. From your experience, what factors do you feel has made HITECH to stand out from other medical institutions?

Hi-tech is the first private Medical College of Odisha. Back then, there were only three government medical colleges including SCB in Cuttack, MKCG in Berhampur and VIMSAR in Burla. While Hi-tech dared to step into the field of medical education being the only private player, it has faced its own share of struggle at that time. But it has also got the benefit of starting early. Today, Hi-tech has managed to address the healthcare needs of the people of Odisha and has been able to cater to the patients efficiently.

Quality assurance is the most important factor of our institution. This apart, the quality of academics and medical services has helped us to remain under the spotlight all these years. Moreover, the motto of Hi-tech is to serve the poor people. We might be a private institution, but our service is always directed towards serving the poor.

Hi-tech has achieved many pinnacles. Today we have a nursing college, a pharmacy and physiotherapy a college apart from the medical college. Our homeopathy unit was also recently inaugurated. Hi-tech has a clear path and is moving constantly in that direction. We are dedicated to providing quality healthcare services to patients and that has made us stand out.

Apart from your tenure as a practitioner you have also been a teacher. What challenges did covid crisis pose before you in terms of teaching? Also how crucial was it for the students? Has it impacted the classroom teaching now?

The Covid period was one of the most crucial and challenging times for us. During covid crisis almost 99.9% of my colleagues and PG students suffered. I remember all our students went back to their home. We divided online classes which was 45 mins to 1 hour which was new to us. Juggling between online classes and hospital duty was one of the toughest tasks thereof. Definitely academic curriculum was compromised. Treatment of patients was equally critical at that time as we were treating them without seeing or nursing personally. It was immensely difficult. It took up all time of the day.

Usually I take classes of PG and UG final year and most of my time was taken up by surgery. But many of the teaching colleagues did a commendable job.

The Odisha Government is taking up several steps for the development of healthcare infrastructure? What is your take on it? Do you feel there is need for any changes?

The Odisha Government has taken a revolutionary step with the introduction of Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojna (BSKY). I am a great adherent of the BSKY as it has made health services accessible to the needy. I have seen people in our hospital who do not have the capacity to afford quality treatment are getting free treatment and surgery because of the scheme. Of course, there are a lot of hear and say about the scheme not being implemented properly, but I am personally witnessing hundreds of cases being treated at our hospital under BSKY. Last month, we operated around 200 cases in my own department. BKSY is genuinely helping the extreme and it is further motivating us to give the best of our services to the beneficiaries.

There is no need for change but I feel there is some miscommunication in the dispersal of the scheme which has restricted the benefits from reaching out to the actual beneficiaries. Basically, there is loss of facts in the process of communication otherwise the schemes could have been implemented more effectively.

Other than that, the Odisha government is doing a commendable job in the field of healthcare and I would like to express my gratitude.

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