Who's right? The doctor or the common man?

Its been a very long time since I wrote something. A lot of mixed feelings about what's happening around the medical field. Making the RMPs and PMPs legal in one state and introduction of a KPME act in another state. These two coming from two states that produce the maximum number of doctors each year. I'll just put my thoughts here. I won't take sides and you be the judge. Let's talk about what's happening in my state first.
     Almost 10 years of struggle, you give up playing sports you love, you be one of the best in the class and learn and remember every thing, have sleepless nights, survive on just coffee, wash your eyes every hour just to stay awake so that you pass your exams in flying colors and become a doctor. The feeling at the end of your post graduation to get that special title Dr before your name is immense. Till then you are a part of the institute that's nurturing You, grooming you and training you to become what you would be for the rest of your life. Then you step into the practical world realizing how cruel the world is around you. The system is so screwed up that you don't even know where to begin to bring in a change. RMPs and PMPs have become a part of the referral system that involves money. If you don't pay them, be ready to be the bad money minded doc in town with the poorest skills (though on the contrary you're trying to abolish something you don't believe in). These guys are doctors from day 1 with no formal training. What makes them doctors? One or two years of work under the qualified doctor as an assistant or technician gives them the right to add Dr to their names. These guys treat patients in their clinics, have their own in-patient beds and are the gods to the local public. No issues if you're being respected for good deeds you do. All of us respect that. When someone comes to you with fever and you put the highest antibiotic which should be used for only ICU patients, who's responsible. It's general public. Yes, because he didn't have any formal training, he doesn't know what is what, he's treating based on what he has seen or at least what he thinks he has seen. Now this has gone one step further. Recently I have gone somewhere where there happened to be one of these guys. He was advising me what to do. So 10 years of quackery now is superior to 10 years of training in medicine? Now the Govt of Andhra Pradesh thinks RMPs do a better job than doctors so they are in the process of legalizing RMPs in the state. God save this state!! This is one of the worst bills to be passed for the healthcare. When everyone everywhere is going forward by leaps and bounds, we are taking steps backward.
      Now my friends in Karnataka are in even worse state. The KPME Act that is going to be introduced in the house is even worse than what's happening in my state. Putting a cap on the charges of doctors, arresting doctors or imposing fines on doctors by a committee which doesn't even have one qualified doctor, leave alone having an experienced doctor in that speciality, is such a sad governance. Establishing a private hospital however small maintaining all the standards costs big money. Big money that one doesn't have at the time of beginning his career. So they end up taking loans. The doctor has to pay the EMI, staff salaries, electricity bills, indemnity insurance, maintenance of all the equipment which involves AMC and CMC, upgrade all the equipment as and when the new equipment arrives to stay on par with the well advanced centers across the world. The permissions one has to get to run a small set up are not any less. We all know how these permissions work. None of these come with any subsidies from the government. A doctor doesn't get any privilege over others anywhere he goes, he doesn't enjoy any perks from the government. How and why does the common man expect them to treat for free? Suppose you're running a restaurant. You have ten customers of which one guy is a doctor. Do you serve him for free? He's just one customer out of ten customers you have. You don't. But in return you expect free treatment or discounted treatment at private hospitals where every person is a patient. You don't get a Lamborghini at the price of an Alto. It's just not possible. Work out the logistics. If every person wants free treatment, it is a possibility. Make insurance compulsory for all. Health for all. A doctor would love to treat a patient how he pleases and the best he can if he doesn't have to worry about the payment. The government hospitals being run with the taxpayers money are in such sad state. When the government can provide the facilities and the quality of work that private hospitals are providing at lesser cost and can still run the hospitals, then put a cap on the private hospitals. When the government can not do anything about providing healthcare for all and just point out fingers at the soft target that is the doctors and try to win vote bank, it's just cheap politics. If the normal public can not realize that it's the beginning of downfall of healthcare in India, then God save us all! As for me, seeing all this happen I have already started exploring my options abroad just in case to be safe. If you look at the Hippocrates oath, it was all about the patient. Recently it has been changed to a pledge which says, 'look after your own health and your family's health before you look after others.' If it has to be a part of the pledge Now, then you already know how much a doctor works. Black sheep are everywhere. Doctor fraternity can not be an exception. But punishing all doctors and in return punishing the whole population is just madness!
     I do hope justice prevails!
A concerned doctor.


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