On 1st of July, doctors are usually greeted from multiple quarters. Newspapers, media and some prominent people congratulate doctors in their speeches or on their social media pages. However, what doctors need are not just verbal wishes but reinforcement of public’s belief in them . It is this renewal of faith in their saviour which will help doctors in discharging their duties smoothly and in alleviating their problems.
Despite the paucity of the highly trained medical professionals, the identity of medical professionals as a community in society is not getting its due right because of misplaced priorities of certain people. The society tries to impose a stereotype role on them in an effort to control them fully. And as a result of these various controls, regulations and public pressure, doctors experience unrealistic performance pressure on professional front.
Doctor is the pivot point between patients, medical industry, government and insurance sector. Huge number of patients, expensive medicines, poor medical infrastructure has produced tremendous resentment against medical system amongst public. But the brunt of this entire angst has to be borne by the doctor or medical professionals alone. Often they are blamed for circumstances beyond their control and punished for system failure. Fear of public wrath and lawsuits is smothering the medical profession. And increasingly there is a feeling amongst medical professionals that they are getting a raw deal despite doing their very best.
In such a situation, there should be some introspection by all stakeholders every year, on doctor’s day. The doctor’s day should be more than just greetings and wishes for doctors. Some real resolutions need to be taken so that their working atmosphere and eventually delivery of medical care is improved and this ultimately will benefit patients only. I can think of some much needed changes-
1. Government should take some concrete decision to improve medical infrastructure and manpower. A better planning needs to be done to spend more for health of people, availability of resources and for improving the working conditions for doctors. Government should ensure that doctors are better protected.
2. Medical industry should collectively think of protecting doctors or there should be provision for some financialresponsibility of medical lawsuits of all doctors. Pharmacy industry, medical device industry, insurance industry and others earn huge profits because doctors need to use their products. Although medical industry makes huge profits still they remain behind the scene.
3. Police should provide assured protection to doctors better against physical violence.
4. Medical education institutes should resolve to promote the education of best doctors and not indulge in profiteering in education of doctors.
5. Courts should take an initiative to protect doctors against frivolous lawsuits ( which are often done to prevent paying their bills), revengeful attitude of patients and harassment?
6. On doctor’s day, public should resolve that they will not unnecessarily fight or abuse the doctor.
7. And last but most important is that all medical practioners , be it allopathic, ayurvedic, unani, homoeopathic or others who play a role in maintaining health of patients, affirm that they will do everything to protect dignity and integrity of this profession.
If the above are not practised and followed, then mere sloganeering on doctor’s day makes no sense . The effort to improve training and working condition of doctors has to come from the bottom of the heart of all those involve, both giver and taker. Mere tokenism on a day in a year is of no real purpose. If the present scenario continues, soon a common man will have problem in accessing good medical care which is currently available at nominal cost . One needs to ponder seriously, if we do not save doctors, who will save us?