Saturday, December 9, 2023

Destroying Our Doctors

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“You guys are actually having fun here. To see the real ragging, go to a Medical College,” so we were told by our seniors when we started the first year in the Engineering College.
Later as we interacted with friends who had taken admission in MBBS, it became clear to us that not just the ragging, entire course and life after that was fun for us engineers when compared with grind the doctors go through as students, and later in working life.
5+1 years in MBBS, then a very tough entrance exam, then three very tough years more in easier specialisations, and more in specialisations like surgery. It is 9 to 12 years for most doctors.
Even bones in our body number 206, Doctors memorise name of all of them, the Greek and Latin names. Add to that many hundreds of other organs. Then thousands of medicines. 
And then learning the art of diagnosis, treatment, and more difficult arts like surgery. They are scientists, and they are artists. And while doing all these things they write. All the time they write in medical college. Histories, gleaned from the folks who won’t reveal much but would expect everything.
And all these things they do in hospitals attached to medical colleges. The hospitals are creaking with load. They lack staff, they are always short on consumables. Staff have their unions. State governments are bankrupt. They can’t fund hospitals. Even the ones attached to the medical colleges. So doctors are short, equipment is short, other consumables are short, staff do not listen to them, and relatives of patients beat them and sue them.
Then there are numerous commissions now to answer to. Anybody can go to this or that commission and doctors instead of practicing get busy in attending to their hearings.
A madness has taken over us that we have reduced to this those who save our lives. 
Doctors are not responsible for the state of our govt hospitals, and fees in our private hospital. For both, our vote to those who promise us free stuff is responsible. If hospitals are overcrowded, it is because our governments do not fund them as they spend money on freebies to buy votes. If private hospitals are costly, it is because policies of our government make it nearly impossible for doctors to have their own clinics. Only Corporates with deep pockets can negotiate with the mafia gang that is bureaucracy. The regulations on private hospitals have killed competition and made them very costly.
Doctors do not owe anything to anybody. They are professionals, and very talented. If we make their lives too miserable, they would simply switch professions. Medical colleges would get “students” you would not like to go anywhere near.
No, this actually happened in the West. Folks there simply gave up on the medical profession. They were rich countries. They imported doctors from the Third World.
We do not have that luxury. Because we are the Third World. We would simply have to go back to the days of quacks. And the days would be ugly.
Innocent lives would be lost otherwise I would have suggested that doctors, all of them, should take one month off, so that the dumbs, the Commissions, the courts, the politician would all know who is exploiting whom.
Short of that, why can’t doctors come together and resist the brutal onslaught on their profession? 
Doctors should be proactive. They must control the health profession, not the bureaucrats and politicians. Their associations must raise hell about the conditions in hospitals, and the state of funding that causes those conditions. And only doctors should regulate doctors. Not the “inspectors” and bureaucrats, the Commissions, the Courts, and the politicians.
Righteous can not win, if they do not fight. World is not a proposition in which good people do not perish even if they do not fight for themselves. 
You are very busy, doctors, but you must find some time to get together to save yourselves, your profession, and us all, the ingrates, the thankless.

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