Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Doctors who were Gods are now Satans(Few are still Gods)

Upon graduation, our medical students take this Hippocratic oath.

"I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of over treatment and therapeutic nihilism...
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick...
I if I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter..."

Next time whenever your Doctor prescribes you a medicine, please do not have the misconception that it is for curing your disease.That medicine may be for pleasure trip for your Doctor and his family OR/AND sponsorship for your Doctor's Master's course in some foreign Medical Institute OR/AND Doctor's conference bill arranged at some 5 Star Hotel etc etc etc.Pharmaceutical companies have a separate budget for promotion of their products(Promotion means they have to influence your Doctor to prescribe medicines of their company to you and your family members).You may ask whats wrong as long as you are not paying anything extra and your Doctor also enjoys some privileges.The reality is the entire cost is borne by you and patients like you. Your doctor can prescribe a paracetamol which will cost Rs 20 instead of Rs 1.This cost variation is applicable not only to Paracetamol, but to each and every medicine prescribed for each and every disease. Some doctors and Pharma companies may argue that branded (costly) medicines are more effective. But several studies have found that generic drugs are as effective as branded drugs.A study was conducted by Annals of Internal Medicine in the year 2000 which suggests that whether you buy a tablet for Rs 20 or Rs 1, the effect on patient is same.Visit the report of this study. Studies suggest that large percentage of Indian population fall into BPL category because of huge medical expenditure. When near and dear ones fall sick, whether poor or rich try their level best to save the lives and at that point we do not apply their mind. Since we do not apply our mind, our family doctor can go to Mauritius along with his family whereas our maid has stopped sending her children to school because she has spent the children's school fees money on getting costly medicines for her ailing husband.
I met one of my friend who owned a Pharmacy shop recently and asked him how is his business going. He told that he has closed the shop and has started cycle repair shop. I was surprised and asked him the reason for closing the shop. He told, " Nowadays Doctors have become too greedy.These Doctors have opened Pharmacies in their clinics or hospitals, so that they get the Full Share of Profit which earlier was shared between Pharmacists and Doctors".
If pharmaceutical company is one source of money for Doctors, Diagnostic labs are another big source of money. I know a renowned Physician in Chennai who makes it a point that his patients do periodic scans only from Bharat Scans.He does not accept report of any other Labs.MRI, CT Scan, Doppler Scan, 64 Slice CT Angio,3D Multi Slice CT etc etc etc are often prescribed by your Doctor to be done by a particular Scan Centre even if you go with fever.The reason is, he gets on an average 50% as commission. Next time when you visit a scan centre, you kindly note that the receptionist will with utmost sincerity note down the name and address of the Doctor who referred you.
Still there are Doctors whose one and only concern is the health of their patients and who are guided by ethics of Hippocrates and consider their profession as a noble one.Unfortunately they are very few in number and are far outnumbered by Satans who call themselves as professionals.Who will take action against these unethical Doctors.They are backed by powerful pharmaceutical lobby. Whether Indian Judiciary which was the final savior in many issues will step in and do a surgery of this unethical medical system...If Hippocrates would have been alive , he would have used his surgical knife not to operate his patients but to ...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The IPL drama-failure of diplomacy

"No Pakistani cricketers in IPL 3" hit the headlines both in Pakistan and India. Indian Minister for External Affairs,Mr.S.M.Krishna, clearly washed off his hands stating that Indian Government does not have any role in IPL selection process despite his counterpart in Pakistan saying that this will damage Indo-Pak relations and Pakistan will give a befitting reply.

The man behind the entire drama, Mr.Lalit Modi,IPL Chairman, has not come out till date with clear cut explanation on why Pakistani players were left out. As cricket is more than religion in the sub continent, IPL management should have acted more responsibly. Mr.Modi, has aggravated the mess by stating that IPL does not owe any explanation and its the IPL owner's discretion on selecting who will play. The so called IPL owners have also acted irresponsibly. Shilpa Shetty and Preiti Zinta, who generally are good in making publicity stunts failed miserably this time. Its also very hard to believe that not even a single Pakistani player was worth bidding.

Indian Government instead of washing its hands, should step in and order for a new bidding process or else it may hit diplomatic ties with Pakistan. If it was a conscious decision by India to isolate Pakistan due to recent Mumbai Attacks, then it can tell openly so that it will send a strong message to Pakistan.Instead of that, India's silent approach will affect India's diplomatic image. People like Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta will have money as the only motive. We cant expect them to behave diplomatically. But its pathetic that even seasoned administators like Mr.Modi did not have the diplomatic sense. Its high time for Indian Government to step in.