Friday, July 2, 2010

Medical Practice - A Noble Profession

Doctors Day was celebrated yesterday. I too conveyed my good wishes to my doctor friends yesterday. As so many Days come and go, one more Day has passed in the name of doctors. I think it is high time that sane thinking people should make an introspection regarding this noble profession of medical practice.

It is beyond doubt that there are many committed doctors who work in the field with sole purpose of alleviating human suffering through their chosen profession. Quite many of them have simply spurned lucrative jobs to fulfil their ambition to serve in rural India. But at the same time I deeply get depressed seeing the present scenario in the medical field in general. Greed has unquestioningly taken over moral and ethical standards in the noble profession.The entire movement has become a well oiled and inter-related big business conglomerate .

Let me try to put out a couple of diseases which have already taken deep roots in this profession consisting mainly of medical practice and drug manufacturing and distribution. If big names having multinational presence and matching turnover are luring practicing doctors by offering free participation in conferences Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs at exotic tourist places with free stay in luxury hotels, lesser companies with limited resources are offering high percentage margins to their local distributors to make promotions in their own convenient ways. There are many ways of gifting a doctor apart from offering 'cuts' pathological laboratories and medical distributors.

In the second week of April (this year) an out fit called Udaan Diabetes Care Foundation organized 'Regional Insulin Summit Meet - North' at Fortune Grace Hotel, Mussorie, where over 50 rooms were reserved. The room tariff of this luxurious hotel is Rs 5,500/- per night. Bangalore based Novo Nordisk, which sells insulin, picked the tab.....There are other examples. Piramal Healthcare allegedly took some 200 Diabetologists to Turkey in late January followed by a batch of Oncologists in mid - March to the same destination...... Lupin held an all expense paid promotional event at Indore in late February and reserved rooms in in three luxurious hotels for obliging doctors, mainly from Madhya Pradesh...

These are some newspaper reports, verbatim. Today nobody can escape from this seamy side of corrupt medical practice, which is taken up under Hippocratic Oath. Patients are made to undergo tests and surgeries they do not need; scans are being recommended when they are not needed; women are mercilessly made to undergo Caesarean  Section when normal delivery is possible; healthy uteruses are removed by operation; and hips and knees are being replaced to provide business to orthopaedic device makers. These are but a few examples I am giving to show to what level the moral and ethical standards have fallen.

MCI (Medical Council of India - remember the recent revelation of its head taking bribe to the tune of several crores to grant recognition to new medical colleges?) has woken up to contain this menace. It thinks that the low salaries paid to medical doctors and teachers in private institutions is the reason for doctors starting private practice. Great! Does that mean that the Govt. medical institutions pay more? How ridiculous! The rot is more stinking there than anywhere else.

In all fairness and sincerity, I personally feel that we have reached a point of no return. The only possible thing seems to live with the rot. But heartily appreciate and encourage those who have remained true to their Hippocratic Oath and wish their tribe may grow.

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