The DOCTOR Disease

DOCTORs are considered very much close to GOD as they help in saving our lives which have been given to us by the so called God . But what to do when the doctors are themselves in danger and who can help them or be the God for them . An English idiom goes by “An Apple a day keeps a Doctor away but it seems something else is stealing the job of the apple .

Last Tuesday on 11th June a junior doctor was attacked by the relatives of a deceased patient who died due to unsuccessful treatment . He was hit with a Brick and he is undergoing a serious treatment over a critical skull injury . This incident sparked outrage among Doctors nationwide specially in West Bengal threatening mass resignation which completely paralysed the state run hospitals . Bengal CM MAMATA BANERJEE instead of handling the situation with care and maturity , she threatened Doctors to hault strike at once or else she will not listen to any of their demands and gave them a 4 hour Ultimatum to bring normalcy . But the anger was so high among the doctors that they rejected it as well and 300 doctors gave a Mass Resignation .

Now the whole nation literally started a Mass movement and all doctors and members of Medical Community came together stating they will completely Boycott the work until proper actions are taken . Other doctors associations also issued statements to come in solidarity to condemn this incident . Even the social media flooded with #SaveTheDoctors . This incident was combined with a case in Delhi AIIMS where a Doctor was abused and threatened to be killed when the doctor didn’t checked him right then citing the case as low risk .

In AIIMS Delhi doctors worked with bandages on their Heads ; apart from it the protests were staged in various other medical colleges and by many junior doctors . INDIAN MEDIACL ASSOCIATION (IMA) also took the note announced protests on 14th June (Friday) wearing black badges an all OUTPATIENTS DEPARTMENT (OPDs) routine services and visits will be withdrawn from 6 to 6 on 11th (Tuesday) . Though IMA , AIIMS and many other associations assured that services to patients will not be affected and instituted contingency measures ; they will only protest and not strike as patient security is Priority (See even after all this Doctors are caring for the patients) .

From Friday onwards the strike took a Nationwide approach and almost all doctors were showing full support condemning the incident and almost all states were showing intense Protest and Anger . Even our Health Minster HARSH VARDHAN showed care for it and tried to meet the doctors and call off strike but sitaution remained Tense . Supreme Court also agreed to hear a plea on Doctor’s security nationwide on 18th (Tuesday) which was filed on last Friday . BJP alleged that MAMATA BANERJEE has mismanaged the case and is not taking action because the party which has attacked on the Doctor belongs to Muslim community and is her Vote Bank , so she won’t do anything . While TMC hit back and said BJP is for no reason trying to Communalise the issue . The Politicians have no care for needy ; they just want opportunity to fire at each other ; also we can’t say much about the authenticity of these claims due to lack of facts and evidences ; but if is true then it’s very shameful on her side and a painful incident for India that here parties only concentrate to communalise their vote banks and don’t pay any heed in providing Justice for needy .

Whatever be the case ; finally MAMTA BANERJEE understood that this situation needs to be taken care of Wisely and she declared that all demands of doctors will be fulfilled but they will have to undergo a Meeting with us . Doctors finally agreed to it on a venue of Her (DIDI) choice but on the condition that the meeting will be open and nationwide livestreamed . After the meeting the doctors seemed satisfied and also confirmed the same calling off the strike immediately though official announcement came a bit late . The key highlights which led to the satisfaction of Doctors are :

  • MAMATA BANERJEE accepted the better security demands . She also agreed to set up a GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL CELL in government hospitals .
  • She suggested a 10 point security measure for safety of doctors .
  • She said creation of an interface between patient and doctor is necessary .
  • Also not more than 2 relatives should be allowed inside the Emergency ward .
  • ANUJ SHARMA ; Kolkata poloce chief said apart from police forces we need to streamline the entries of patient parties .

In 2017 ; Mumbai doctors wore Helmet as protests for 5 days after violence took place on doctors for 3 consecutive days . In 2017 only AIIMS Delhi doctors started taking Taekwondo lessons due to fear of violence . This shows the gravity of the problem going on in the country which was being neglected by all of us . This Bengal incident can be considered the Tipping Point which led to the most Heavy and full fledged Strike .

The case is controlled as for now but is it enough ? I mean , is the case of Violence on doctors new ; NO . This has been a Pan-India problem we are facing from quite long . According to Reports more than 100 doctors have been attacked in 2019 in Bengal only . According to LANCET MEDICAL JOURNAL 75% (3/4th) of all doctors in India have suffered Physical or Verbal violence atleast once in their whole lifetime . But what is the reason for so many attacks on doctors ; means they are here for taking care of us na , the why are we beating them so hard ?

The broad reason can be said mistrust between doctors and patients , which is there due to the following reasons :

  • Long waiting hours for patients make them suffer .
  • Even after waiting delayed medical care further irritates them .
  • Doctors are highly overworked and burdened and may make mistake due to Fatigue .
  • Lack of facilities and low budget : Our spending on healthcare is merely 1.3% of GDP as compared to 8-9% by developed countries .
  • Too few doctors : According to WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) an ideal DOCTOR:PATIENT Ratio should be 1: 1000 but in India it is 1: 11000 ; ranging from 1: 2000 in Delhi to 1:28000 on Bihar . Despite we see so many people pursuing Medical Courses, there is a huge shortage of doctors in India which is a huge concern .

Apart from that there are some misconceptions on part of patients regarding Doctors :

  • Doctors are considered all Rich : It’s not true except the few top doctors a normal doctor gets very nominal and some very meagre amount .
  • High Overtime : According to Central government directive a Doctor should work 48 hours a week but in reality many work more than 100 hours that too without a day off .
  • High Stress and Pressure : Doctors face a lot of stress and pressure . Treating some serious cases for 3-4 hours and then seeing another 100s of patients in line with no. increasing overtime makes the environment INDESCRIBABLE .

Also problem lies on the part of doctors as well .

  • Doctors treat all patients in a broad general category PATIENTS ; but for each patient he is only one Doctor in which he has too much Faith ; isn’t it ? He has only one opportunity to get cured after standing in long quees and paying high fees .
  • Some doctors don’t communicate with patients properly and it infuriates them . According to a research by Dr. AGARWAL of IMA ; patients get angry when their desires are not met . They want doctors to hear them , understand them , acknowledge them by giving valuable information time to time . This is something Doctors should take care of .
  • There are certain Doctors whose only aim is to fool patients and raise money by delaying treatment and asking for unnecessary medicines , who have nothing to do with patient’s health .

Regarding all this there are a few suggestions on Doctor’s part by IMA :

  • If one has to delay a patient do inform them so they don’t get outraged .
  • Try to give time to each patient atleast 20 minutes .
  • Cost estimate of the treatment should be clearly given to the patient beforehand so that he is ready financially and no Tantrum arises in between the treatment .
  • Also a suggestion is that the JUNIOR Title should be removed before a Doctor’s name . Though this designation has nothing to do with how capable a Doctor is ; but it creates a belief in Patient’s mind that he is a Junior and not capable enough to treat him , again building Mistrust .
  • Another suggestion goes that Boards should be displayed outside OPERATION THEATRE (OT) giving brief description of what is going on inside bringing some Transparency .

In 2010 a DOCTORS PROTECTION ACT was brought to give strict punishment to those attacking doctors but there was absolutely no response . In AUSTRALIA also a new law was brought in 2014 to giev 14 year imprisonment to those who attack on Doctors . But there was no improvement , on contrary violence cases increased after that . This problem is also present outside India ; not in the magnitude as of in India but is present . A Research in GREECE also found similar reasons for violence on doctors . Broadly it can be said that patients waiting too long for treatment with Hope spend too much money and energy and if after that they don’t get cured their frustration is channelised into Anger which can at times be Violent .

So what can be the final and ultimate solution of this problem of the conclusion of my Article . Sadly , there isn’t an answer to both . No doubt Government has a lot of job to do ; from increasing budget allocation to pressing for building Infrastructure and development and research in this sector . As suggestions brought in the Kolkata case ; security in Hospitals need to be increased with CCTV and at least one Senior police officer in each hospital . But , this case has to be resolved now as just think what will the mindset of a young student or young Doctors pursuing medical seeing such incidents . Will he wish to be a Doctor anymore and even if he does will he not want to work abroad . Maybe this is the reason so many doctors go abroad for working or we can specify so many SKILLED doctors . For saving the future of Medical and Doctors in India and for keeping smart and skilled Doctors in India , this problem needs to be addressed ASAP . Also keep this in mind we don’t have a very developed and effective medical system .

To all the relatives of the deceased patient (In General) ; if you are feeling that bad when your loved one is no more the same are the feelings of the relatives of the doctor as well after he is left dead due to your attack . They also have wives , parents and children to take care ; after them who will take care of them , YOU … ????? We do sympathize with you but don’t blast your anger and grief at the Doctors as you don’t know what they go through .

But will that be enough , I mean people can attack Doctors privately also outside Hospital campus also . We can’t appoint BODYGUARDS for anyone who pursues Medical in India . There is only one answer the people need to understand that Doctors are also Human first of all ; they are No Gods and can commit mistake . Also it’s not about making mistake ; when one is treating a patient it’s not a guarantee that he will get healthy . A doctor tries his best but sometimes it’s not possible to cure a person . That doesn’t mean that end up killing the Doctor only . So we can end it here by keeping in mind that we have to be Human to Doctors and think of them as Humans as well . Don’t punish the Doctors for the Fate of that government which is being worshipped . Keep the people who keeps us Safe , SAFE .



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