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Hospital? Very Scarry!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, May 8, 2016.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Recently my husband's elder brother ,aged 80, has undergone a brain surgery in one of the famous corporate hospitals in Chennai
    The doctors and surgeons are very kind and affectionate .But the nurses, receptionists and other staff members are not as well informed as they are expected to be and patients are made to wander from pillar to post.
    While staying in the hospital for about 15 days, we came across many patients and their relatives elaborating their horrible experiences in many hospitals throughout India.
    We are much scarry to get admitted in hospitals. Some of the experiences are narrated by relative doctors themselves.Whether the patient would die on account of the existing ailment or not, he would surely meet with his end soon on seeing the exhorbitant charges.
    There is a close knit underhand association between the corporate hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical practitioners.ln every sphere the charges assume demonic proportions due to this nexus. Many patients would like to get discharged within a day or two terribly upset over the charges.
    India is very much of proud of its 'space science'achievements and IT intellectuals but have to hang with shame when lakhs and lakhs of poor patients getting poorer by the sky high charges in the hospitals and many have to sell their dwellings for the treatment.You can boast of producing max number of doctors and medicines ,yet sending max people to the virge of property ,consequently to death trap.What a country is this-which is unable to provide a reasonable health care to all the citizens!



    From the way it works, it is more than certain that commercial considerations weigh more than the heath considerations.Even emergency accident cases are not taken care of, if a huge amt of advance is not paid.Indians are normally immuned to political corruptions.But it assumes a serious magnitude when it relates to welfare measures.



    Though doctors and hospitals set aside the complaints as a few in between, it is not that there are a few black sheep in between and that it is very rare to find a white sheep.

    Many of the young honest doctors are treated as brokers and they are compelled to bring as many patients for surgeries like angioblasty and a target is fixed.Result, even normal patients with some breathing difficulty due to muscular spasm are advised to undergo angioblasty.The patients are actually frightened that if the surgery is not performed within a week, they may face heart attack-which may turn fatal.Many,other wise normal patients, who may get cured by drugs , end up in costly surgical procedure- a big dent in their savings.

    Once you get admitted in the hospital, the drugs have to be procured from their pharmacy only and all drugs are branded drugs, costlier by 4 or 5 times than the normal medical shops.
    All these hospitals are airconditioned corporate houses with ultra modern interior fittings,sophisticated reception halls-the main human element-sympathy-totally missing.

    There is a mounting pressure to the doctors from non medical administrators, for supply of branded drugs from pharmas, and surgical equipments and radiation machinery from overseas companies.Even honest doctors stoop down to unethical practices since they want to establish name and fame from a big corporate hospital for about 10 years.

    Once the unethical practice gets rooted ,it becomes a habit and routine and no guilt feeling thereafter.After all doctors also are human beings susceptible for lust and temptation.They are not sages.

    Once upon a time only medical and teaching profession were considered noble.But the trend has totally vanished.Students pay in lakhs to medical colleges to get admission and where is the way to get back what they have spen?Not to talk of teachers-they earn by lakhs in private tuitions and give a little care in schools.Poor children who can't afford tuitions are the victims.

    Doctors ,of late, don't follow the diagnostic route, but tend to follow the 'rule out the negatives' principle.They prescribe a battery of tests-costly beyond imagination.From the day of the test the patient is worried, he should not get any scarry disorders and pray for favourable results.

    But there is an understanding between the doctor and the lab technicians.They take the blood for all the tests, conduct only what is called'marked tests' and never perform other tests at all. Those unnecessary tests ,called-Sink Tests-because the blood is thrown into the sink.The patients are charged heavily,reports for the sink-tests are always normal. Patients, though paying heavily, feel comfortable at the favourable non performed results and thank God for escaping him from a serious illness.The hospitals rejoice.

    This has happened for the last 20 years.The mush room growth of private medical colleges and private nursing homes ,the unhealthy surroundings and long wait in General hospitals have contributed to this horrible health care failure.

    Almost all the deliveries are planned c- sections and the parents have to be in preparedness to spend a min of Rs one lakh to bring a baby home after normal delivery without any complications.

    The health care has become a commodity left to the market.

    At least in foreign countries there is proper insurance scheme.Here the insurance sector also is in collusion with the medicos.Insurance premia are quite heavy and while claiming reimbursement ,nearly 40% of the money spent is not reimbursed.

    Hospitals also charge differently for different patients for the same treatment depending on insurance claim.

    the Govt has no interest or concern about public health.For dealing with criminals the Govt says"The law will take its course( for years).For public health problem too, they may simply wash off their hands and say coolly say'the market will decide'.

    This wonderful market is not only a sure failure but a great disaster.

    Common man daily prays that he should not land himself into a hospital.He won't be admitted if he has no money.If he dies but unable to pay the bills, his body may not be handed over until the dues are paid.

    But there are a handful of good private hospitals which are quite reasonable,There are a many doctors who are honest, quick in diagnosis and do not prescribe unnecessary diagnostic tests.But it is very rare to find such doctors.

    In those days, if a person above 70 became sick, no treatment was given.The patient was taken to the front yard of the house called ( rezhi) in Tamil ,to enable his way out from the world.

    In the modern trend of increasing longevity and diminishing health care,a serious problem awaits the senior citizens,especially for those who don't have a regular pension as income.We have nothing to do except prayfor'anaayaasa maranam'.

    Shall our prayers be answered?

    ( This is the view of the common man.No harm is intended for the doctors)

    Jayasala 42
     
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  2. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    These doctors spend huge amount in capitation fees as students and theuir primary concern is to recover that money and make a profit human lives be damned.. Many also function as agents of pharma firms and health insurance companies to make an extra buck. We must have laws like the US where a patient can easily take a doctor to court for medical malpractice and w2in a fat monetary compensation.
     
  3. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Balaji, you said it all. There may be many justifications for being unethical.
    Who is to bell the cat/
    Jayasala 42
     
  4. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear JS Ma'am,

    It is indeed distressing that people are paying in crores to get medical seats or seats for a particular specialization in MD. I always wonder, if they have so much money, why spend it on a medical college? They might as well save it up and live on the interest and enjoy themselves for the rest of their lives! The concept of spending so much, then demanding dowry for sons who go for professional courses this way, fleecing patients to make money seems most illogical.

    Yes, there are a lot of doctors indulging in unethical as well as illegal practices to earn money. Yes, corporate hospitals do arm twist their doctors to make more money for the hospital. However, when it comes to certain complaints I have often heard such as "the doctor sends for unnecessary tests" I always wonder, how does the person know whether the test is necessary or not? It is just as likely that if the test is not done and some problem is not diagnosed, the same person would complain about callousness on the part of the doctor.

    The litigation culture is a double edged sword. Think of a doctor who has to live in fear of being sued at the drop of a hat for some real or imagined ills (these days everyone is an Internet Medical Expert) and has to shell out a huge amount of money. Or take the instance of a patient who dies - I have heard of the doctors being physically attacked by the relatives because the doctor did not save the patient - and the doctor gets sued for 'callousness'. Obviously doctors will start thinking of hiking up their fees to cover such events. Hospitals charge huge amounts of money to admit or treat a patient. The patient dies due to lack of timely attention. Relatives sue. Doctors hike their fees ...... it becomes a vicious circle.

    Unfortunately, there is no black or white here, just varying shades of grey.
     
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  5. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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  6. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Satchitananda,
    The last sentence of the response says it all.You have added more value to my writing.Thanks a lot.
    Our silence and passive observing of injustices done to patients is also one of the reasons.
    While room rent in hospitals are sky high, the cost of medicines is another factor to be worried about.

    All corporate hospitals and private doctors prescribe only branded drugs which are nearly 5 times costlier than generic drugs.It is understood that generic drugs and branded drugs contain the same chemical composition and have same thrapeutic effect on patients. But since all doctors prescribe branded drugs on commission basis, medical stores do not have stock of cheap generic drugs with the same effect.Poor patients are forced to spend a lot.

    jayasala 42
     
  7. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah Finest Post Winner

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    One rationalization for this practice is the prevalence of fake and adulterated drugs in India. Recently, the US FDA has issued warnings to Indian generic drug manufacturers for sub-standard manufacturing practices. The justification seems to be that if you were to go drug shopping by yourself, you might be fooled by fakes. I would like to hear more about this from anyone who is well informed.
    I am fascinated by this! Where does this nomenclature come from? Is it common knowledge, this business (and lingo!) of 'lab tests' and 'sink tests'?

    As for the corrupt private medical 'colleges' thriving on 'capitation fees', they need to be decapitated - this is a fraud of gargantuan proportions that needs to be exposed internationally in scientific journals.
     
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  8. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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  9. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Shokanasanah,
    Thank you for your valuable inputs.'sink-test' is a secret expression( public secret) used between the lab technician and the doctor( hospital).
    Colleges are accustomed to accepting capitation and parents have become mentally prepared for the same.It is fully a commercial venture.

    Jayasala 42
     
  10. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    At least by the meaning given in medical dictionary,generic drugs and branded drugs are typically one and the same and have the same reaction on patients.A calcium
    of 500 ml strength costs only Rs 5 or so as a generic drug, whereas the same in branded variety is sold at Rs24 per tablet -containing the same chemicals. At least for curative purposes of severe ailments if the doctors prescribe branded drugs,perhaps it is ok to some extent.But for calcium and Vitamin D which women are supposed to take after menopause daily, and medicines taken for recuperative purposes they may very well take generic drugs.

    Not that all generic drugs are fake.First of all when we see a prescription, we do not know whether it is generic or branded until we go to a medical shop and compare the prices.
    Nor do we know the generic equivalent of the branded drug.
    Perhaps Govt may bring a rule that doctors should write both the generic name and the branded name in their prescriptions.When the prescription comes from the doctor, we may not suspect any fake drug.

    My daughter had wheezing problem until she was 15.We have been temporariily treating her with deriphilin prescribed by our doctor whenever she had asthmatic attack.
    While we were discussing about this in Office Lunch room, somebody suggested the name of a doctor in Chennai, a thoracic specialist very famous in curing asthma within 2 months.It was Apr 1980.Myself and husband decided to give her the treatment during holidays and once for all say good buy to wheezing.
    It was a nice clinic.The board outside revealed that he had many degrees to his credit including one obtained in London.
    Doctor didn't even use a stethoscope and said"yes, she has asthma'.He wrote some 5 medicines to be obtained from medical shop for normal respiratory improvement.
    He asked us to take special drugs for Asthma from the nurse by payment.
    The lady nurse had packed hundreds of packets .She asked me to buy medicines for one month,costing about rs 500/.The medicine consisted of a liquid and very thin tablets.The liquid has to be given @three drops every morning and evening, and half a tab twice .
    My MIl ,aked me to keep the medicines before the portrai t of god and start treatment
    on Tuesday after praying Vaidyanatha Swami.
    The treatment started on a Tuesday. I gave the medicines only for two days. On Thursday morning she had mild fever.MIL asked me not to give the tablet and go to our family doctor in the evening after my office hrs.
    As I returned from my office, my daughter was sleeping.I just woke he up. Some fumes were coming from her mouth.She sat down and started weeping.She could not talk.She wrote to me in a piece of paper that she was feeling restless and that she is unable to talk.Immediately we rushed her to our family doctor.I showed him the prescriptions as well as the medicines without prescription.He immediately closed the clinic and took her to the hospital in his car.He didn't say a single word.
    Next day my daughter was discharged. She had some blue patches all over her face and it took nearly three years to clear off the entire patches.Those three years! It was a hell.My daughter was severely affected by the remarks of her friends,teachers and neighbours.Luckily we had a good skin specialist who prescribed only half a tablet of Celin( Vitamin C). she gave her lot of encouragement and guaranteed complete cure, though in slow pace.
    Our family doctor gave me left and right for giving the unprescribed medicine which was proved in the lab to contain 80% arsenic, which is a slow killer.Actually it had started poisoning her.It is God's grace that the after effects were revealed so soon in your daughter's case'he said.
    It is true that 'Arsenic' in very minor proportions is a cure for asthma and widely used by Homeopathy Doctors.
    In some of the patients asthma gets cured within 6 months or so but the patient may collapse and die suddenly.
    Actually the daughter ( age 19) of my friend who recommended the doctor to me met with the fate.
    We could not take any action against the popular doctor as the drug was unprescribed and there was every possibility of the case turning against us .The doctor was not fake, but the medicine was fake.
    I spread the inf orally among from my friends .Even then some of them did't believe.and said that it was rare case and could not be generalized.This created a great awakening in me about drugs.

    My daughter was totally cured of asthama, once she attained puberty and started having regular periods.That is nature's cure.
    Jayasala 42
     
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