At 154 among 195, #Health is just a word for India

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पाठ्यक्रम का दशक, परीक्षायें वृशक;

प्रेमाभिलाषी, रक्षक, मैं एक चिकित्सक ||


                  I am writing this post for the first ever chatter prompt: Health and this is going to be about the health system as a whole rather than just being about an individual. I hope its fine.

              The doctors  often  end up at the receiving end of public’s fury or govt’s  vote wooing  policies or media’s one sided stories but what’s their side of the story? It is still only some mysterious speculation. The truth is that our healthcare system is as ruthless and unforgiving for the doctors as it is for the patients. Politicians and bureaucrats take up all the breathing space in the system and doctors remain crammed up in the corners. It takes their heart and soul to become a doctor over nearly ten grilling years of otherwise enjoyable youth to come face to face to their dreams  But only a few of these dreams can survive in the real world.

From my archives

               The story starts with a young, energetic and ever hopeful medial aspirant who stumbles down the rabbit hole and wonders where he landed. Of the nearly 6 lakh aspirants entering the maze each year only a handful reach the treasure chest of super specialization (DM/Mch) only to realize that the treasure chest is empty and it has to be filled with even more hard work over the rest of their life. Nearly 10 years of study and nowhere to go.  Most of the few jobs offered in government sector are contractual only and does not allow private practice along with many other unnecessary limitations. Stringent rules for small clinics and huge capital and time required to get settled is not everyone’s cup of tea.  The private sector is rapidly going corporate ways with little scope for autonomy and more work per penny. The doctors are just trapped in a mess and only easy way out opens beyond the borders. It doesn’t mean doctors don’t earn enough but that there are very few options and leaving so much to chance after so much of hard work is demoralizing. Some leave for further studies, some for jobs and some just to get away but ultimately all are chasing their dreams only. It is ironical how India is promoting medical tourism and the doctors are leaving the country.

From my archives

              Doctors are being used as mere pawns for political gains. Poor planning and absurd interference in public health system by non medico administrators and illiterate politicians without consulting the experts is doing more harm than help. Already, nearly 75 per cent of India’s population is treated by quacks and such measures will only widen the rural-urban divide discriminating against rural folk, who are taken for second-grade citizens deserving medical care by a brigade of ‘qualified quacks’.

Media reports
  1. Compulsory rural posting is just one such example. Yes it is a noble cause but the doctor has earned his right to make his own choice after all the time and hard work.
  2. Promoting state- acknowledged quackery by adding more cadre of workers who are neither here nor there:
    • Shortened medical course at the graduate level to serve the rural areas.
    • Bridge courses for nurses and alternative medicine professionals.
    • Recognizing quacks and their practices.
    • Gujarat is even letting school kids to act as doctors under school health schemes
  3. Negative media image for TRPs: Yes they go on a strike but not with the intention of killing someone but to fight for their own right to work in a safe and secure environment.
  4. Replacing MCI with pro-private sector National medical commission.
  5. Victimizing public health sector and sensationalizing private sector with freebees, IMG-20180103-WA0021i.e. poorly conceptualized mohalla clinics, polyclinics by Delhi government looting taxpayer’s money for short term political gains. (Public sector can be strengthened with a fraction of money being wasted)

        Doctors are also humans but their superhuman hard work should not be overlooked. There are good and bad people in each and every profession and things need not be generalized for everyone. Please take a moment and try to understand what a person goes through to become a doctor and you will know what he deserves…

What needs to be done?

           The two basic problems are: less doctors (The doctor-patient ratio in India is 1:1,700. The World Health Organization’s recommended criterion is 1:300.) And poor logistics (everybody knows). So,

  1. The need is to start more medical colleges. The country has nearly 300 colleges, of which 190 are in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Uttar Pradesh, with a population of 19 crores, has only about 16 colleges. Bihar, with a population of nine crores, has eight. If the State governments open medical colleges in all the districts, we can have nearly 600 medical colleges, rolling out nearly 75,000 MBBS graduates a year.
  2. Strengthening the infrastructure and facilities with incentives so that the doctors don’t shy away from rural areas.

Among all the negativity, a smile and a simple thank you is all that we seek:

धड़कानों  की  धुन  पर  गुनगुनाती,  फिर  कोई  ज़िंदगी,

 ख़ुशियों  में  डूबे  कोई  दिल, जो  था  कभी  ग़मज़दा ;

रूखे  से  लब,  थिरकते  फिर  ख़ुशी  से  मिलकर ,

जब रोमरोम  हो   स्वस्थ  और   मर्ज़  ले  विदा ;

 भावुक  मन,  नम  आँखें , करती  हों  जैसे  इलतज़ा,

और  मुस्काती –काँपती  आवाज़,  करती  शुक्रिया  अदा ;

है भाव  विभोर  ये  तन  और  मन,

जैसे आ मिला हो स्वयँ ख़ुदा, ये  रूह  जैसे  आबिदा…


This post for the first ever chatter prompt: Health.

I would love to hear what you have to say on this topic. See ya:-)

13 thoughts on “At 154 among 195, #Health is just a word for India

  1. Little Rants

    Thank YOU for this post. I did a similar one on my blog the other day. And I swear, I have NO idea what I’m doing with my life either. I feel like this was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me – becoming a doctor. How much do I study? Does this madness ever end? No.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being a doctor has a positive side too. You need to find a balance. There’s too much study and sometimes it is frustrating but I don’t know how not to be a doctor and I love it too. I hope things change for better soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am sure you will be great tomorrow. And you will know your calling soon enough. My best wishes for a sparkling career ahead. Good luck. Doctors are too cool to be lost. Take care:-)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. harotianessentials

    Wow I had no idea this was going on in your country. Sounds similar to what’s happening in the US. Except bug pharma is pulling everyone’s strings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow..I knew some of it but not everything. We seriously need some change in the medical system in our country. Health sector needs a bigger change. Hoping for a difference. Loved the poem in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a mad world.More reason we think hard and decide calmly.I loved every word you wrote and agree wholeheartedly and 100 times over.The problem is the people need to realize that they are being taken for a ride by the powers that are pulling strings.Ultimately they will be treated by glorified quacks and they will never know !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ashvini Naik

    This is a very intriguing post, Dr.Amit. And this perfectly presents the dismal state of healthcare in India.

    Sadly, there are various media houses which thrive upon sabotaging the image of various health institutions & doctors with half-baked facts (although there are always cases of some negligent doctors who lack the humanitarian spirit).

    Another blood-boiling menace is the issue of fake medical qualification credentials by fraudulent agencies & rackets, which get crooks out in the cloaks of doctors who ruin the credibility of the doctor profession, which is nothing less than GOLD.

    And we’re still lucky to have doctors like you around. Really glad to have found your blog, Sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your insightful feedback ashvini. Saving the medical profession and especially the public sector is not on any priority list. It is getting difficult with each passing day in this ruthless system. But I still have hope and will keep doing my best to work for it. It is motivating to have people like you on our side.

      Liked by 1 person

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