In present times, we are witnessing a significant increase in the number of women doctors, especially surgeons, in India. However, things were not the same in the early ’90s. Most women struggled to have their careers in a patriarchal system. Among the few who made it possible was Dr Vandana Dhaktode. Popularly recognised as the first lady surgeon of Dombivli, Dr Vandana Dhaktode has been an excellent Gastroenterologist surgeon providing services in Mumbai suburbs since 1995.
With a career spanning more than two decades, Dr Vandana has handled and cured cases related to – piles / fissure/ fistula, breast, hernia, and gastrointestinal diseases. She has worked as an assistant surgeon, lecturer, and consultant surgeon. She also happens to be a successful entrepreneur, social worker, and a great surgeon by example.
After completing her Mastery of Surgery (M.S.) from K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai, the Lady Surgeon started practising in Dombivli as a medical officer in a government hospital. Realising the plight of poor patients and the lack of proper infrastructure in hospitals in the area, she worked on a vision and mission to provide affordable, accessible health care to all strata of society.
In 2000, along with her surgeon husband, Dr Sharad Dhaktode, she laid the foundation of OM Hospital. The husband-and-wife duo worked tirelessly to develop the single speciality clinic into a Multi Super Speciality Hospital in no time. Today, the organisation has turned into a group of hospitals, including the ISO and NABH accredited OM Hospital, Sai Shraddha Hospital, OM polyclinics and OASIS (OM Advanced Surgical & Intensive Services) hospital.
These hospitals in Dombivli are rated high among the topmost healthcare facility as they are the first ones to receive international certification in the vicinity. OM hospital is one of the first hospital to be adjudicated with the award during the 6th edition of India Health and Wellness Awards 2020 by Integrated Health & Wellness Council for its outstanding performance in the Health Access Brand category.
At Dr Dhaktode’s OM hospital, the team is committed to providing comprehensive medical care & satisfy the patients by maintaining quality in every sphere of activity. The 24 bedded, well-equipped hospital has all the necessary facilities such as 2-D echo, E.C.G, I.C.U, x-ray, ultra-sonography, pathology, medical shop, and ambulance. Through continuous improvements and upgrades, the centres have tried to maintain the no-time loss in attending patients and zero per cent breakdowns of diagnostics & curative devices. The hospital did excellent service during the pandemic while adhering to all protocols. Dr Dhaktode and their team conducted fever O.P.D.s, arranged medicines, provided online home isolation treatments, built a covid ward during the second wave and are now giving vaccinations. The hospital also runs cashless Mediclaim facilities to shelve the economic burden on the patients.
The inspiring woman doctor in India is playing significant roles and contributing to the welfare of society. Dr Vandana Dhaktode works as a dedicated Gastroenterologist and has also devoted her entire life to the service of women’s welfare, especially taking care of their health. Her dedication to this cause motivated her to start health and wellness programs for women of all ages, such as prevention and detection and treatment of cancers, antenatal and postnatal care, fitness with diet and exercise, and mental health of women. Moreover, giving preference in employment to women in her hospitals speaks a lot about her zeal to uplift the very basis of women’s empowerment. Dr Vandana is also actively working with many charitable institutions.
Dr Vandana has won many accolades and awards during her successful journey. She had received many appreciation awards for her classic work in Covid 19. Among all the most prominent ones are the awards bestowed by Dr Vijay Suryawanshi, Hon. Commissioner, KDMC, and then by MLA Shri Ravindra Chavanji. Dr Vandana was also felicitated by various districts clubs of Rotary for her relentless medical help during the pandemic. The doctor cum social worker also won the Women Achiever Healthcare at the Women Who Lead National Award in 2021.Website – www.omhospital.com