By The Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
Delhi’s Dengue distress has hit a raw nerve of our society, the five year old who died subsequently after being denied treatment from number of private hospitals mocks and shakes the very fabric of our society. Is turning away a patient in time of epidemic because beds weren’t available is the excuse for negligence or is it same old resigned attitude that some one else will take care why should I bother.
Denying patients necessary aid is nothing new, every other day you can read a story in newspaper where a hapless patient dies at the doorstep of a hospital because there was no one who cared to check the patient or paperwork and billing were the mandatory procedures before someone decides to save your life. The reason could be numerous but basic question here is that does patient have to die or loose his limb because he doesn’t have enough money or hospital doesn’t have enough doctors, beds or medical supplies.
In India we don’t even produce half the doctors as much as engineers or MBA’s and there are never enough doctors to go around given the size of population. Top that off with grueling admission process and a lengthy, expensive education that takes forever to complete and doing bachelors in medicine is nothing now a days, you have to fight your way into Masters to get your career going. We have an antiquated system that can’t cope up with changing dynamics of our country and world at large. The governing bodies in this field are no exception either. We have hardly seen any drastic reforms in past years and there is no hope of any coming up in foreseeable future until someone strong and decisive take charge of things. People don’t become doctors, engineers, IAS, IPS or business graduates out of some sense of civic responsibility, its the paycheck that come with these degrees and jobs that’s motivating, so why not we introduce some do’s and don’ts in the business to align everyone’s interest. The people, the governments and the professionals all factors of medical profession can work simultaneously while balancing out each other.
Now coming to the question of treatment itself, in many western countries it’s illegal for hospitals to turn away patients in case of emergency and other critical situations. The hospital and its doctors will not only loose their license but can face legal proceedings for such action. Why couldn’t we have such a legislature in place, this is not about demonizing doctors, they do amazing job but there are some out there who just want to suck every paisa out of their patients(victims). In Delhi where it’s not clear which department belongs to whom, state and center can easily slip the blame at each other. It’s both center and states responsibility to make sure that there are ample of facilities to tackle such rampant dengue attack. Mostly affected are the poor, whose living quarters are in the vicinity of mosquito infested places should be cleaned and sterilized of the mosquito. Schemes like ‘Swachh Bharat’ should be implemented rigorously and it won’t be effective until people themselves participate in cleaning their area, colony or moholla. In our government offices we have a tradition of successfully implementing schemes and projects successfully, on paper.
We have to instill some sort of discipline in our offices, people, hospitals and doctors if we have to achieve a healthy, clean India.