A pup wagged his tail, looking forward to being loved by the boy. In turn the boy picked up a stone to attack the ‘bad’ dog. Others joined him and rest is a tale. Lying bloodied the pup that had hoped of giving and receiving love licked its wounds. Is it the tale of a doctor in India? Can one expect a doctor to give his best in that situation? Can he switch over to less hazardous profession? Should the bright children choose medical profession in the first place? Is the hype against doctors going to improve patient care? Should  the doctors put in their hearts and souls in saving patients or their own skin?

A NSS report recently placed 75 % of healthcare of the nation in hands of private clinics and hospitals. But our successive Governments not only  made no attempt to promote or develop private establishments, but also gave a step motherly treatment. In fact clinical Establishment Act, which has now been brought, will close down these friendly neighborhood clinics. Why should they be treated as rivals and not complimentary to healthcare system? Why should they be called greedy and cheats and their clinical acumen doubted? Were they trained differently to be crooks? When public health care system has collapsed due to multiple deficiencies and government is unable to provide any worthwhile healthcare, why not to financially support and give legal recognition to the private family physicians? With no money to spend on healthcare there are no Government jobs, With lack of infrastructure, dearth of supplies and poor governance blame for all failures is conveniently placed at the door of doctors! Now even the text books say that private doctors fleece the community. This is despite the fact that so called self-less service extends well beyond 100 hours per week. Who will look after doctors’ parents, spouse, and children? This doctor has to agitate even for drinking water and in turn faces ESMA! All this for a petty salary, If the income has to come from practice the situation is even worse, despite the so called secondary income from ‘cuts’, most practitioners can hardly make their both ends meet.

 

Should a doctor save his own life from patients?

The Plight is not limited to losing your family/social life, working twice the allotted hours and taking home pitiably low wages/ salary. Now the duty extends from stopping patients from dying, to worry about not being assaulted/ killed by the patient’s bystanders. If the patient collapses while in your care, suddenly all boundaries vanish and hell is let loose. Suddenly the doctor turns into a monster that the public reads in the papers next day – the one who killed their loved one because of greed to steal their money/harvest their organs/molest their ailing mother or child. If every death inside a hospital were to be called a case of medical negligence, why would doctors admit the patient at all?  How can the society be so naïve that they consider doctor as guarantor of life and not a professional who is your friend, philosopher or guide. The Indian Medical Association confirmed in May 2015 that over 75% of the doctors in India have faced some form of violence at the patient’s hands in India.

Are all doctors good?

Some doctors do fall for greed for various reasons: because the pharmaceutical rep gives him a good incentive, need to make back the money spent on getting a seat, forced to do the extra procedure in a private hospital, Know that you are not God, professional competition and race for money with other members of society.

Doctors want to heal…  want that satisfaction of being able to see a cheerful smile on the face of someone who came to him in anguish. But .. not dictated by the whims of businessmen who demand profits, not by the fear of being beaten up by relatives of patients, not while worrying about how to pay the next electricity bill and not by losing touch with everyone who matters just because a nation chooses not to strengthen its own healthcare system.

Why doctors’ service is invisible and why his occasional deficiency is magnified? How can society be so cruel to one who is so benign to one and all? Is it the sacrifice that you are expected to make, since nation has spent on your training!.

 

Doctors need to implement the following in their practices:

  1. Choose your patients correctly. Go as far as you are capable with your knowledge and the resources you have at hand.
  2. Implement all the tactics of a sound and ethical business, inform the clients regularly, use technology usefully and impress patients with modern day business practices (which also include excellent documentation). Be smart; be suave, after all aren’t you the creamy layer of intelligentsia.
  3. Be reasonably updated to the current understanding in your fields, so that your treatment is contemporary and up to date.
  4. Your practice should be such that it allows you to be satisfied with it. Seeing too many patients in too short a time is counterproductive in the long run. Let you not allow the horses of your wishes go uncontrolled.
  5. Mingle with society more often. It’s a common observation that most doctors do not socialize with the general society. Many are content only interacting with “doctor associations”. Interacting with society in general always makes you a part of the society; it helps people understand your problems, your limitations and the hardships you face.
  6. Patient education and good communication skills with your patients will yield rich dividend.
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