Article by ©Dr Swapnil Kumar Kale for DoxBay
Once you have beaten up all the doctors in the country and broken all their small clinics into pieces, this is what you will be left with – corporate hospitals that charge you lakhs per hour!
कल्याण का हॉस्पिटल तो तोड़ दिया; अब हिम्मत है तो एक खिडकी तोड़ के दिखाओ Fortis Hospital की!
A 500 strong crowd broke Holy cross hospital into pieces when a 22 year old died of MI. The losses incurred due to the damages could be little less than a crore. But the biggest thing that these people destroyed was the doctors’ moral courage! The situation was almost similar to a riot and police did nothing. The most significant thing police did was to delete the pics and videos of the assaulters from doctors’ phones.
Attacking doctors and vandalizing clinics have turned into an epidemic today with all the politicians, govt, media and the society ganging up together with one motive – “Tame the doctor, make him work 24×7 for free and force him to accept that he is God!” Slowly and silently doctors are giving up, moving to other countries; small clinics closing down; no new generation kids wanting to become doctors. Let this epidemic continue for decade and you will see no “good” doctor left to treat you because you have beaten the shit out of them already. There will be no small clinics around that you can afford, as you vandalized all of them already! Only thing you will see when you fall sick will be the corporate hospitals that charge you just like the Fortis kid.
The ‘Dengue kid’ died in Fortis Hospital and media went into frenzy for weeks with the melodramatic stories of how the hospital has exorbitantly charged the family. Did Fortis hospital overcharge? That can be an arguable matter. But let me tell the society in the face – “You anyway can’t afford hospitals like Fortis!” Corporate hospitals provide high end healthcare and they WILL charge on the same lines and you can do nothing about it. Those, who have been vandalizing small clinics, can’t fucking break a window of such big corporate hospitals.
Taking suo motu cognizance of the ‘16 Lakhs Fortis bill’, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the Govt of India that shot a notice to the Fortis administration based on the things they read in newspaper! Few media houses are still writing columns about how hospitals and doctors are looting the poor. Does the“Nana Patekar's कलम वाली बाई” in these so called journalists and media houses fall asleep when doctors are beaten up? Where the fuck are you guys when a hospital is broken into pieces and a doctor’s courage is broken apiece?
So many hospitals have been vandalized in recent times. Many doctors have been ruthlessly beaten up by crowds, with at least 4 doctors losing life in such situations in recent past. Doctors are leaving the profession or country because of such incidents; and there is no support from any politician or govt or intellectuals or liberals or leftists or rightists or the common people? No one fucking wants to return their awards now?!! Oh I forgot, those are reserved for publicity and political mileage over religious matters only!
In India, there are 3 pillars of the healthcare domain today – 1.Govt hospitals (overburdened, neglected by govt); 2.corporate hospitals (most can’t afford them); and 3.small clinics (run by individual doctors, affordable to most). With such vandalism at hospitals, attacks on doctors and lethal legislations like the Clinical Establishment Act (enacted at the behest of corporate giants), the middle buffer layer of small clinics in the society is dying a silent death. The day when small clinics will be uprooted in this country, will be the worst day in the history of healthcare in India. And clearly, only poor and commoners will be the sufferers of the outcome and not the wealthy or politicians who can afford Fortis!
We have seen the society blindly running social campaigns for the religious, linguistic, political causes. We witnessed society running a campaign even to save the criminals convicted in the Supreme Court. We saw the society running a campaign so that someone doesn’t become Prime Minister. We saw chest thumping by the intellectuals and nerds on topics like eating non-veg or even pollution during Diwali! We have witnessed hundreds of crap social campaigns for absurd causes that bring no fucking difference for the society itself. Why no one feels like taking up this issue and doing a candle-light march for “Save The Doctor” or “Save The Clinic” campaign which is essential for the society’s future? Did a doctor not save your life ever?
Every time you beat up a doctor, you discourage 100 other docs from taking risk to save your life; you discourage them from going to villages where they have no protection. Every time you vandalize a small clinic, you open up a window for the future corporate dominance in healthcare. If healthcare in India has to be affordable to larger population, small clinics MUST survive! And society itself has to stand up to protect small clinics, individual doctors and, in turn, its own future.
Despite such a pressing need for actions, I can’t see even one intellectual or media-person or politician, or at least someone from this society standing up for doctors! Has the society gone brain-dead today? Does it need resuscitation?
Oh sorry, the small clinic near you just shut down. You better rush to Fortis!
© Dr Swapnil Kumar Kale
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