Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Doctors are no angels: Of Strikes, Snobbery & Selfish behaviour

The doctors who are agitating against reservation do not have my sympathy now.

I have seen with my own eyes people lying in the premises of hospital with no one to look after.

Will these doctors let their ailing parents, siblings or children without any treatment?

It is no ordinary profession and docs do get great respect too because of their unique profession.

But the selfishness they are just concerned about their career [that whether they would be able to get into the post-graduation which might be affected due to quota for OBCs of the doctors] is apparent.

1. There are good doctors and they get everybody's respect. But these protesting doctors who will run to attend a rich patient are right now treating the ordinary citizens like dirt. This is shameful and unjustifiable. When was the last time they took a stand on any other issue, public cause?

2. Throughout India, rarely doctors who are in government duty, go to rural areas. In most of the states, government medicos are allowed to see patients at their private clinics also. The private hospitals are notorious for extorting money and even do not give away body of the dead before all the expenses are paid.

3. It is in these private hospitals and clinics that lakhs of baby girls are illegally killed and aborted. Where was the Indian Medical Association (IMA) until now? It never addressed such issues or took action against any doctor. But today it takes high moral ground.

4. They are sad that the police beat them. The Indian police has beaten poor and ordinary citizens for the last 57 years. It has committed massacres and has hurt the self-respect of Indians everywhere but the doctors were never there to voice concern.

5. Some doctors even refused to treat injured persons of a community during Gujarat massacre. Did doctors ever express their voice on any such occasions or condemned carnages. Ordinary citizens are beaten up routinely at the hands of police and so it is no great injustice that docs also get beaten up.

6. And if the politicians with whom it is angry fall sick even today, they will run to treat them. The docs are angry why public doesn't support them. The ordinary Indian citizen is too beset with his own problems and daily hardship to earn his bread. And he is sick of the increasing greed of the doctors.

7. It is outrageous for doctors to strike work. Life is too important and the docs must not hold the society to ransom with this attitude. Ironically, medicos have such contempt of human labour that they resort to bootpolishing and hold brooms to express their anger as if these are the worst jobs.

8. These people who study at the expense of ordinary poor Indians forget the Hippocratic Oath soon after they get out of the colleges. I liked what a retired professor recently wrote. He said that the doctors should remember that if they are studying MBBS at this highly subsidised fee, it is at the expense of the ordinary poor boys who remain illiterate and work in tea kiosks at shops and who could never get any opportunity to study.

9. Though I am personally not in favour of extending reservation but seeing the selfishness of docs I feel compelled to think that what makes these arrogant Junior Doctors to believe that they are the best? A leading doctor on Times Now news channel said that no matter what happens, a lower caste person can't have the efficieny and expertise of an upper caste doctor.

That made me sick. The difference in the society, financial health, regional backwardness, English proficiency and lot many factors are involved in cracking a competition exam apart from caste. I have seen two internationally-acclaimed doctors commit serious lapses in minor cases recently. Both belonged to upper castes. So what does that mean?

10. To be a good doctor one also needs compassion and love for fellow human beings, not simple great IQ and GREED. A SC or ST who enters the college has to pass all the examinations in each year of the MBBS to become a doctor. He may get through PMT/CPMT with lesser marks but he doesn't get any such concession in MBBS where he has to pass all the papers and the pass marks are same as that for the general category else he wouldn't get the degree.

11. The students of AIIMS and also IIMs should not think they are celebrities and must be pampered. They are doing no favour to Indian society if they get into these premier institutions. It is not the alumuni that has made this institution but the innumerable poor whose blood and sweat has resulted in these educational institutions established in the country.

12. There are many other factors. Being a Muslim, what is my stake in this? None. I neither have any reservation nor I seek any. If such hullabaloo is raised for OBCs, then one can imagine what would happen when all right wing parties who are silent on the issue would be out if ever a quota for 14% Muslims of India who are more than the combined Upper Castes (Brahmin, Bania, Rajput) but have negligible presence in jobs and education while the upper caste rule the roost.

13. But I feel as a citizen I must come out with my view. No dotor or engineer is above the country just because he is more intelligent. He has a duty also towards fellow citizens and the country also. They should think of their DUTY also while they wail for their 'rights'. They better end their strike and attend to patients.

14. A look at the faces of the relatives of the patients can leave you terribly disturbed but these medicos are unmoved. And the doctors should know they get respect, get paid and are almost like VIPs but they should not expect to be treated like demigods and if they want that they should improve their conduct, credibility and image that has suffered over the years.

15. Ghareeb, Aam Aadmi jo beemar hai usse yeh kaisa badlaa? [Revenge upon poor!] The Hippocratic Oaths ends with ...If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot. Doctors who break the oath don't deserve the respect.