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Doctors; Demi-gods Or Demons?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by GeetaKashyap, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    (The intention of this article is not to hurt anyone from the esteemed medical profession. All the cases mentioned here are true. The intention of this article is just to draw the attention of ordinary people and alert them.)


    *****************************************************************


    Hospitals are our life-saving institutions and the doctors are the demigods! On a visit to a hospital, different people experience different things. Though healthcare is a service like any other service, since it deals with the lives of people, it has to be delivered and received with a different attitude and sensitivity.

    When our dear one’s life is in danger and we meet the doctor, how do we perceive him? A demi-god, a person who can fetch our loved one back from the jaws of death, isn’t it? There are innumerable positive stories about doctors and their extraordinary commitment to their profession. Many patients have undergone excellent treatment and they have really been pulled out from the jaws of death.

    Again what do we feel when we realize that the service was not up to the mark or there was some real goof up which could have resulted in the death of the patient or resulted in the death of the patient? The same doctor turns a demon in the eyes of the patient's relatives! These days, often patient's relatives lose cool, assault doctors and damage hospital property. This is wrong and such behaviour must be condemned.

    This is where the controversy begins. The doctor turned demigod, turns into a plain demon! Allegations and counter allegations begin to fly wild. Then what? It is the survival of the fittest! One cannot deny the mighty power of money and position. If we have the money power, manpower and a concrete proof, we can take the case forward and fight it out in the court of law. Still, there is no promise or guarantee of justice. Life and time lost can never be made up. If not….we have to suffer in silence, swallow our pride and compromise. Most often doctors support the erring members of their fraternity and the hospitals. So we cannot expect any help or cooperation from them when things go wrong. With time the public forgets everything and it is indeed in their best interest to forget and go back to the same doctors when another health issue strikes! Lately, Health management has become a corporate business; major treatments have predetermined rates and the patients have very little choice over the rates charged. After managing the said amount, patient and his relatives are totally at the mercy of these demi-gods.


    Case 1

    Last year there was a news item that showed two bickering doctors, gynaecologist Ashok Nainwal and anaesthetist M L Tak, inside the operation theatre at the Umaid Women and Children Hospital. The said doctors entered into a verbal spat over checking the heartbeat of the child. One of the doctors later walked out of the operation theatre. The child succumbed due to falling pulse rate, according to Amilal Bhat, principal of the S N Medical College, which runs the hospital.

    The incident went viral after somebody present in the delivery room made a video of the development.


    Source: WATCH: As doctors argue inside delivery room, woman loses child - Rediff.com India News

    Case 2

    An octogenarian had a heart attack two years ago and Angiography results showed major blockages in all the coronary arteries. Doctors summoned the patient’s children and sought clearance for the next line of treatment i.e., an open heart surgery or clearing the blockages and placing medicated stents. The family with limited medical knowledge weighed the pros and cons. In view of the age of the patient and the presence of other co-morbid conditions, they consulted a cardiac surgeon of repute. After going through the reports, the doctor declared that ‘the patient is sitting on a Time-bomb’. The very next day, Angioplasty was scheduled and a ‘package’ price was quoted. The patient’s relatives could not seek clarifications or even consult other doctors due to the scare induced by the doctor and the loss of precious time in that process. The very next day the patient underwent Angioplasty and he was out of danger.

    Soon after he was shifted into a CCCU where patient’s caretakers have minimal access and the highest standards of treatment are supposed to be given here. Signatures of caretakers on several papers were taken thereby ensuring the safety of hospital! That night patient’s relatives were shooed away and trusting the reputation of the hospital, patient’s relatives went home. The next day, early morning when the relatives went to the hospital, they discovered from the patient and the surgeon himself that this diabetic octogenarian had not been fed at night and as a result, he started hallucinating. This was discovered when the surgeon happened to visit the CCCU at 5 am! (God bless him and his commitment to his profession.) He found the patient incoherent and hypoglycemic. Since the patient's hands had many tubes attached and feet were bound to the bed (to prevent leg movement) he could not call the nurses or ward-boys, and they never visited him through the night! When the incident was discovered, the surgeon shouted at the nurses and arranged for immediate food and to some extent, the patient was stabilised. Anyone with Diabetes would know that it takes a really a long time for the hypoglycemic symptoms to subside, more so in an aged ailing patient.

    (Without food and medication, a diabetic might get severe symptoms of hypoglycemia like poor coordination, poor concentration, numbness in the mouth and tongue, passing out, nightmares or bad dreams and even death.)

    When the matter was taken up with the highest authority of the hospital, he accepted the mistake and assured the relatives of launching an enquiry and taking suitable action. They were to shift the patient to the ward that day, then due to the paucity of beds, unnecessarily the patient was retained in the CCCU for an additional day and discharged directly from there, under the pretext of ‘additional observation’, which was a plain lie.

    Here points to be noted are, the hospital was not ready to offer the patient the pre-selected class of room and when they had problems with the beds, instead of offering the next best option to the patient (thereby making a loss for themselves but maintaining the highest standard of service) they chose to keep him in the CCCU and extract more charges and that difference running into several thousand. When the relatives wanted to make an official written complaint, the hospital administrative staff personally requested the patient to forgive, forget and not make an official complaint. Relatives of other patients who have had previous bad experience shared their experiences of ‘Doctors' mafia’ which maligns the patient and in future, the patient would not be attended to by any other doctor and so on. So finally the patient’s relatives decided to keep quiet and also give an ‘excellent’ feedback to the hospital.

    Case 3

    A patient was hospitalised with a severe allergy at night, but the specialist never visited the patient that night. Over the phone, he guided the duty doctors and the treatment was carried on in this way for one and half days. When the doctor visited the patient he was irritated because the patient asked some relevant questions regarding her medical condition and she also pointed out the incompetence of the duty doctors and nurses. Instead of addressing the concerns of an informed patient, he chose to be rude to her and even advised her to trust his staff and take treatment. Being unhappy with the way treatment was going on and on, she voluntarily took discharge after a week and improved her health at home with homoeopathy.

    Case 4

    A patient went into surgery. In her own words, “The OT was unclean with plastics strewn all over; surgery was delayed by over 30-40 minutes because the surgeon was busy fighting in the adjoining room with some of their staff over the theft of her expensive footwear the previous day at the same OT!"

    Case 5

    A patient became semi-conscious during surgery and heard all the indecent talk the doctors were having at her expense. She could not react as she was still under partial sedation. When she recovered, she decided to ignore the whole stuff instead of fighting a case as she had no proof at her end!

    ***************************************************************

    These days with the mounting fees and medical expenses, consulting a doctor or getting hospitalized is very stressful. With the reliability of most doctors and the hospitals under question, what can the patient and his /her families do to protect themselves (partly)?

    They must seek second and third opinions before undergoing any major hospitalisation or procedure. Seek the guidance from any known doctor or a well-informed person and gather enough knowledge about the procedure involved. The caretakers should stay alert, they shouldn't trust the medical fraternity blindly, they should keep a track of the doctor and nurses' talk and keep an eye on the drugs administered by the nurses.(!) They should preserve every bit of paper related to the hospitalisation and treatment till the patient recovers after discharge. Above all, hope and pray for good luck!

    But what about the mental condition of the patient if he has to worry about so many things? Will there be any good-will or faith at work here? Who is responsible for this situation?

    ****************************************************************************
     
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  2. messedup

    messedup Gold IL'ite

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    I too suffered a lot due to irresponsible behaviour of doctors. That's true nothing is left with us to go against them or even say a word. We can just pay and pray.
     
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  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt. GeetaKashyap,

    My American friend used to say if the MRI/Scan/Lab work is a diagnostic test, the surgeons are the mechanics working on our body. Their function is to get the body to running condition just like a car. This might appear the other extreme of virtually worshiping the doctors as demigods. The truth is they are somewhere in between.

    Each country has its own problem. Even though the technology has improved significantly, still, the doctors in India pay considerable amount to get a seat and therefore on a money-making mission for at least a decade before they turn into serving the community and win name and fame. If it is in the US, the surgeons and physicians face medical malpractice law suites often resulting in them covering themselves with huge insurance for their mistakes. Therefore the cost of healthcare is considerably higher. The US being the most litigated country, the medical professionals are always worried about them getting sued. The lawyers specializing in this field negotiate a percentage of compensation received motivating them to fight till the end to get a settlement from the surgeon/hospital. Therefore, unlike India, the US physicians never write down their diagnosis directly in a simple English for the patient to understand. Moreover, they will never mention anything they carry out all the test to confirm and reconfirm.

    Most hospitals run like a business and they are focused on money-making. They also tie-up with related services to get a fee paid for referring patients. Unfortunately, the patients and their kith and kin in need of such services go through a significant amount of stress besides expenses. Frankly, the patient's life is in danger more due to the possible infections that could be caught in a surgery center than their original health issue. Some eye clinics and the hospitals in the US have started video recording of the surgical procedures for future protection and in some cases, let the kith and kin watch the surgery, if appropriate.

    Viswa
     
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  4. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    I think it's each one's fate. I was going to give the first feedback in between an interesting movie Parthiban kanavu. I have seen it before but like to see many times.

    I also had bad experience in 1991 when I had hip bone fracture. The Doctor operated me only after 2 days and made me lie down for two months. He did not do the operation also properly. After two months since there was no progress had to meet another Doctor who operated again as it was not done properly. I had actually lost hope in life when this Doctor gave me hope to live. By God's,s grace I was ok and started going to office with a stick for sometime . Joined contract bus as going by train will not be possible. In 1999 had to go through another operation when hip bone was fixed.After that time I am better by God's grace. Took VRS in 2002 and now leading a happy retired life
     
  5. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    This is the issue, we are literally helpless!
     
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  6. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    You are so right, @Vishwamitra Sir.

    Indian doctors are now aping the US doctors. Oldtimers practice haphazardly; a doctor here prescribes at a time, for a throat irritation- an antihistamine, cough syrup, antibiotic and a Paracetamol too! Where is his diagnosis? Patients are not supposed to question him! On the other extreme are doctors who want at least 10-15 parameters checked for a simple and evident disease! These days doctors are avoiding writing down the diagnosis. When we insist on knowing, they say orally!

    They also insist on specific pathological labs as they get kickbacks! On the first consultation, they hardly check the patient. They simply ask for pathological tests. Only in the follow-up, do they perform physical check-up. On the third or the fourth visit, follow-up medication is prescribed. They ensure to extract a hefty fee for each consultation! Because of their unethical practice, patients are losing faith in them and their noble profession.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
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  7. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Feel sorry for the ordeal you had to go through, Vijima. Here the doctors hardly lose anything, only the patient loses time and money apart from enduring physical torture. Very rarely, patients press legal charges against the doctors in India.
     
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  8. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    @sindmani,

    I wish you commented. Anyway, thanks for the likes, dear.
     
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  9. Adharv

    Adharv Gold IL'ite

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    Sir, even if there are video recordings directly from the operation theatre our smart brains will definitely find another route to drain the patients and their family.
     
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  10. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    You have a point, @Adharv. It is like how tailors measure the dress stitched by them. If the dress is short, they stretch the material while taking the measurement and if the dress is longer than the specification, they stretch the tape!:)
    They have technical points to support their acts.
     
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