Topic : Doctors: God or Devil
Doctors were treated as demigods by public at large as they were supposed to be their life saviors. Now a day’s same demi gods are treated and beaten up by same public as if they are some criminals and dacoits. The reasons for this drastic change in attitude of pubic towards doctors are manifold.
1) Poor and crumbling public healthcare: India spends nearly around 1.4-1.8% of GDP on healthcare which is nowhere near the amount that developed countries spend on healthcare.
The condition of services ,infrastructure and doctors are so pitiable that for every lapse that happens in civil hospitals backlash happens on doctors whether they are at fault or not.
The politicians, bureaucrats and everyone else involved in maintenance of public healthcare is neck deep in corruption be it transfer posting of doctors, purchase of substandard medicines & equipments but these people are also first to incite violence against doctors for the sins committed by them .still they want healthcare deliver by doctors as per foreign or goggle standards .
2) Costly medical education: Gone are the days when we used to hear stories of someone poor making his child a doctor. now a day’s medical education is out of bounds even for a middle class persons as fees for MBBS have sky rocketed to 4 lakh/annum in government seats to nearly 15 lakh/annum for management quota seats .Days are not far off that medical profession will also be a dynasty based profession as only doctors with running hospitals may be able to afford exorbitant fees.
3)Medical profession has become a business as someone who spends nearly a crore for mbbs plus md will try to recover the costs as soon as possible .In order to recover it quickly doctors fall into trap of malpractice which leads to negligence in some cases causing harm to whole community at large .
4)Draconian laws : Ever since medical profession has come under consumer protection act doctors are daily served notices running into crores for negligence which may or may not be there but public wants charity from them .it’s high time for doctors to start treating patients as consumers .
5) Negative publicity: The media termed doctors as dacoits for charging medicines on MRP whereas same media houses have no MRP for their ad slots it varies as per demand and time slots .doctors don’t fix or change MRP of the drugs .judiciary too who themselves have corrupt elements in them pass decrees against doctors on strike who are already beaten up by public for doing their duty.
6)Regulatory flaws: India has so much people practicing medicine from quacks BHMS, RMPS and their negligent behaviors are putting whole community to shame .with mushrooming of corporate five star hospitals doctors gets peanuts as salaries and brickbats in abundance as only hospitals make profit but doctors are persecuted by both public and hospitals .
7)Lack of medical insurance : Our country has only 17% medical insurance penetration which is the main reason for violence against doctors .we the Indians save for every occasion be it marriage , study ,but not for illness. So whenever someone has negative outcome in hospital they resort to violence so as to at least save paying bills to hospitals.
In conclusion one million dollar question that come to my mind is that when public gets killed in train, road accidents or driving on potholed roads do they go and kill the mayor of city or politicians responsible for the infrastructure? No they don’t but why doctors only? One thing is sure that no doctor wants to harm his patient and treats to the best of his abilities and infrastructure so please stop violence against doctors. Doctors are not god but humans as everybody else and can have error of judgments.
About the Guest writer: Dr Amandeep Singh, is an Anaesthetist by profession, has penned down his first post for this blog. He has interests in music esp in Ghazals of Jagjit Singh, in the game of cricket and is emotional by nature. He lives in Khanna, Punjab.
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