SATYAMEV JAYATE 4 – Apathetic plight of our HEALTH SERVICES
Aamir Khan delivered yet another thought provoking and ultra-revealing facts filled show of Satyamev Jayate on this Sunday. This time it was all the more shocking and disturbing since it was about the most elementary and essential need of human beings – healthcare.
I have been trying to share my thoughts on this topic but all that I feel now is anger and agony! India as a country is full of people who live their lives based on trust and faith. Be it GOD, religion, politicians, teacher or doctors for that matter. We have immense faith in all these along with many such things. We trust that what they do will be for our good.
Honestly, I am not able to relate to any of that! Not so because I do not feel that it was true, but because I do not understand how someone could do that! We have discussed issues like foeticide, dowry, and child abuse in the past where to me, the culprits were people. You correct the mindset and the evil practice can be curbed.
But in current topic in discussion, the entire system is a party to it. It’s a complete process under which the lives of millions of people ate kept on stake every moment!
Let’s look at what all was covered in the show:
Aamir opened the show with addressing many students of medicine who were present in the studio. As usual, he spoke to doctors and victims to highlight the cases of malpractices in the health services.
He asked the students as to why they wanted to pursue medicine and want to build a career in the field. It felt good to hear all the responses from the youngsters who wanted to serve the society and help people live a healthy life.
Some stories were shared by the victims of the malpractices of doctors. VS Venkatesh could have healed the infected finger with an antibiotic but had to undergo 4 surgeries, and spent around 2 lakhs for no good reason. Arvind Kumar had to spend around 1.5 lacs for just tests when he could have cured with a mere pack of ORS! Such fraudulent practices left people in the audience shocked and shaken!
First case discussed was of Mrs. Seema Raj, wife of Major Pankaj Raj. Seema was suffering from a kidney ailment and was undergoing treatment. Major Pankaj revealed that without her or her family’s permission, doctors operated upon Seema to transplant kidney and pancreas. There was no need to transplant the pancreas, but doctors urged that since they have a spare pancreas so they should get it transplanted!! Already being in so much of trouble, Maj. Pankaj had to arrange almost 60 ltrs of blood for the operation! It cost the family 8.25 lakh for the surgery but still Seema passed away in less than a day’s time. Shameless doctors didn’t even inform the family about her demise and the switched off their mobile phones. Do I need to say more on that??
Another story was of Dr. Anil Pichad from Mumbai who owns a pathology lab. He revealed that he used to overcharge patients for tests since he had to pay commission to the doctors, which most of the times amounted to be more than 50% of the charges. There was another shocking revelation about BASIN TEST recommended by doctors these days! It was uncovered that BASIN TEST means to take the blood of the person – throw it in the BASIN – and give an ALL OK report; all that since the doctor knows that the person is fit and nothing is wrong with him!! It was after Dr. Anil went through a personal tragedy that he realized his mistake. He claimed that he has stopped bribing the doctors now and takes nominal charges from patients.
The most dreadful story was of women of Kowdipally village of Andhra Pradesh, who were asked to get their uterus removed by the doctors in the area. They were told that if they don’t get the operation done, it might lead to death. As the operation is expensive; it leads to the farmers selling or mortgaging their lands to raise money. Now, you might be able to understand when I say I cannot RELATE to these things! Appalling!
Aamir also spoke to retired Maj. Gen. Jhingon (former head of Medical Council of India). Maj. Gen. Jhingon shared with Aamir that he had resigned from his position in just about an year since he did not approve of the way the body was run. He openly revealed that everything done here was related to make more bucks – “It’s all about paisa, paisa, and paisa” – he said. Let me tell you, Medical Council of India is the supreme authority which is supposed to control all the doctors, hospitals and medical colleges in the country.
If that was not enough, Aamir also spoke to the current head of MCI, Dr. Talwar. It was so sad to see a head of a top body, who is expected to ensure the governance of health services in India be so helpless and incapable. Listening to him made me feel that we are not safe in the hands of the doctors until such people are going to run these organizations.
While speaking to Dr. Talwar, Aamir read out the statistics of the percentage of doctors in England whose license were permanently cancelled in the past 3 years. But according to the RTI filed by Aamir and his team, not even a single doctor’s license has been cancelled in India!! Are we saying that Indian doctors are SO GOOD compared to the doctors in UK?
Aamir also invited Dr. Samit Sharma to the center stage and spoke to him about the malpractices in the drug market. Medicines which can be made available to patients and much-much cheaper cost were being sold at very high prices which made it impossible for poor to benefit from it. Shockingly, few medicines which are sold at 170 rupees can be sold at less than 2 rupees, as per Dr. Shetty’s analysis of the cost of production, packaging and distribution!! He also shared a particular example of some medicine which is used for Cancer treatment and is sold for almost 1.5 LACS (one month’s dosage) – same medicine was being provided for less than 10000/- by Rajasthan Government to the patients!!
There were many other evil-practices discussed in the show like doctors seeking commission for referring patients, sharing aggravated ailments with the patient and its family to attract more money for treatment, sharing false news of ailment and operate upon the patient for something which is not needed at all etc.; however I would stop here on the same note where Aamir closed the show:
DOES OUR HEATHCARE SYSTEM AND OUR DOCTORS NEED HEALING?
Let’s hope that they GET WELL SOON and realize that the human life is above business and money!! Let’s hope that one day our health services can be as good and effective as western countries!!
All the best and god bless.
(P.S. – This post, in no manner claims that all the doctors in INDIA are involved in such deeds. It primarily is an attempt to share with people that such things are happening in our country and it should be stopped.)
Question of the episode:
- Should every state government follow the example of Rajasthan and open generic medicine stores throughout their state so that all citizens get medicines at the lowest possible price?
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Y for YES
N for NO
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Watch the video here: