Thousands Healthy deaths vs one hospital death. Perception of moral burden of negligence (# SUPREME COURT on pothole deaths)


There is a  infernal  difference in  the kind of  media  projection, burden of negligence and accountability of preventable multiple healthy deaths by civic negligence   as compared to one hospital death occurring due to severe  disease. In fact the burden of   negligence here in healthy deaths is massive and  these deaths are unpardonable. But reality is opposite.  Strangely  “alleged and perceived negligence” ( with no proof and no investigation )  in death of someone already having disease  and death in hospital  during treatment attracts more scrutiny and   stringent  punishment   as compared to a naked “negligence  in deaths of healthy people” in such cases  of civic negligence.  

Massive civic negligence  leading to  entirely preventable loss of lives. These incidents bring fore the misplaced priorities of media and society which too have  contributed to  some extent to these unabated ongoing preventable   deaths  of  thousands of  healthy people.

 

Deaths due to potholes ‘unacceptable’,  Supreme court

The bench,  said the number of deaths from 2013 to 2017 in accidents due to potholes indicated that the authorities concerned were not maintaining the roads. The Supreme Court Thursday expressed concern over 14,926 people being killed in road accidents due to potholes in last five years and termed it “unacceptable”. A bench said the large number of deaths caused due to potholes across the country was “probably more than those killed on border or by the terrorists”. Terming the situation as frightening, the top court had asked the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety to look into the matter. The bench had also said that people who have lost their lives as a result of accidents due to potholes should be entitled to compensation. 

 

Multiple  Deaths  in healthy people by civic negligence :

Large numbers of death and morbidity happen amongst absolutely healthy population due to preventable causes like open manholes, drains, live electric wires, water contamination, dengue, malaria, recurring floods  etc. These deaths  of people are in thousands, and are almost entirely of healthy people, who otherwise were not at risk of death. In fact the burden of   negligence here is massive and  these deaths are unpardonable

 

       Single  Death in Hospital due to disease:

The media has always, instead, focused on the stray  and occasional incidents of perceived alleged negligence  in hospital deaths which could have occurred due to critical medical condition of patient. However an impression is created as if the doctors have killed a healthy person. It is assumed without any investigation that it was doctor’s fault.  Media has been responsible for creating a misunderstanding about the whole process of treatment and creating  something sensational out of nothing.

 

Point to ponder-Misplaced priorities:

Who is to be  blamed for  the deaths of healthy people which occur because of civic negligence? Here relatives may be helpless and  the vital questions  may go unanswered or taken as a routine.  There are no punching bags like doctor  for revenge. But on the contrary, any stray incident of death of an already ill patient is blown out of proportion by media forgetting the fact that thousands of patients are saved everyday by  doctors. But media instead chose to defame medical profession by igniting the emotions of people by sensationalizing death of diseased and ill,  who probably were already at risk of death and did not give due importance to highlighting prevention of healthy  and absolutely 100% preventable deaths.

Right issues raised at right time will save thousands of healthy preventable deaths. Multiple  healthy deaths should carry more burden of negligence than  one death due to disease.

      

Global corrupt medical (#implant) market & unholy nexus: tip of iceberg revealed


With aberrant  evolution of modern medicine and advancement  of  medical procedures, everything appears to be   controlled by medical industry. The  investors have gained  control of  the financial  game.  How large companies  create a web of  corrupt practices, and earn   huge profits, is a common prevalent sentiment.  Tip of the Iceberg has been revealed indicating inducements to  some doctors and dubious deals with hospitals. If these are the hallmarks of the big unregulated medical bazaar in India and some others, a rare case involving a global major has put a figure to it.

In a filing two months ago, the top financial regulator in the USA, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ordered the world’s leading manufacturer of orthopaedic implant devices, Stryker, to pay $7.8 million (over Rs 55 crore) in settlement for violating its corruption norms in India, China and Kuwait, documents accessed by The Indian Express reveal.

The settlement, recorded by the SEC on September 28, came after the Commission’s “accounting and audit enforcement” proceedings noted a number of “violations” by the company’s Indian subsidiary and its dealers. These “violations” include questionable payments to doctors for “consulting fees, travel, and other benefits” and “inflated invoices” issued to “mostly large, corporate hospitals”.

And that’s not all. In 2012, the anti-monopoly regulator, Competition Commission of India (CCI), fined an authorised distributor of Stryker India and two other firms Rs 3 crore for allegedly rigging bids, manipulating tenders and forming a cartel to sell equipment to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital, two of the largest government hospitals. In its scrutiny of Stryker’s India operations, including the findings of internal audits between 2010 and 2015, the US SEC concluded: “Payments intended to benefit HCPs (Health Care Providers) also lacked sufficient documentation, such as consulting fees paid to doctors without adequate explanation of the doctors’ consulting services or hours billed, and payments for HCP travel with documentation that appeared falsified…

“Additionally, the forensic review found missing or inaccurate documentation for numerous other transactions flagged as high-risk, including expenses related to consulting fees, travel, and other benefits to health-care professionals in India.”

The US regulator’s severe indictment of Stryker’s India operations is one of the most startling findings to emerge from the Implant Files investigation by The Indian Express and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on the medical bazaar, where pharma majors hard sell their products without any regulation via a dubious nexus with hospitals and doctors.

Stryker India has four offices in the country — Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata — and an annual turnover of Rs 300 crore in FY 2017-18, mainly from selling hip and knee implants, and medical devices for spine and neuro surgeries. The US-based parent company has a market cap of $58.87 billion with operations spread across 100 countries covering Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Dubious deals with hospitals:

Private hospitals that “requested inflated invoices from dealers  profited from their purchase of Stryker orthopaedic products by passing on the higher (invoiced) prices to their patients or their patients’ insurers, even as the hospitals paid the lower prices previously negotiated with Stryker India to Stryker India’s dealers”, the US SEC found.

In doing so, the SEC said, the dealers “allowed these private hospitals to gain a windfall from passing on the higher (invoiced) prices to their patients or their insurance companies”.

Linking Stryker to these deals, the regulator said: “Stryker India authorized these dealer transactions only after Stryker India’s management negotiated and approved the price that the hospitals would pay to the dealers. Thus, in determining the price charged to dealers, Stryker India’s management and the dealers specifically  negotiated the profit margin such dealers would stand to earn based on the difference between what hospitals paid the dealers and what the dealers paid Stryker India.”

SEC records do not identify the dealers involved. But documents maintained by CCI show that it had fined PES Installations, an authorised distributor, and two other firms, MDD Medical System and Medical Product Services (MPS), Rs 3 crore in April 2012 for a number of alleged irregularities in sale of equipment to AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital, both in Delhi.

Responding to a questionnaire from The Indian Express on the SEC findings, Stryker said in a statement: “We are committed to working with our customers to make healthcare better while operating ethically and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

The US SEC, meanwhile, found a number of similar violations in Stryker’s operations in China and Kuwait, too. According to the SEC, it took into consideration “Stryker’s cooperation and remedial acts undertaken” while deciding to accept the company’s settlement offer to be paid “within 14 days”.

Unlike in India, the US has robust anti-corruption checks in place with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), enacted in 1977, prohibiting the payment of bribes to foreign officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business, and mandating companies “to maintain accurate books and records”. In Stryker’s case, the SEC decided on a settlement after issuing a “cease-and-desist” offer to the company.

WHAT THE US REGULATOR FOUND

Inadequate oversight of dealers

* In 2012, in response to allegations of misconduct concerning Stryker India’s dealers, Stryker exercised its audit rights over three dealers in India. Those audits revealed insufficiencies in the financial record-keeping and internal accounting controls of all three dealers. Additionally, Stryker identified suspicious expenses by one dealer and instances of another dealer over-billing a hospital upon the hospital’s request. While Stryker took some corrective actions in response to these audits, including terminating one of the three dealers, the actions were limited to the three dealers audited.

* (The)deficiencies violated Stryker India’s agreements with its dealers. Specifically, the deficiencies in dealers’ financial record-keeping violated dealers’ obligation to “maintain complete and accurate records relating to [their] promotion, marketing, use and distribution of [Stryker] Products,” and the over-billing violated Stryker’s business conduct policy prohibiting participation in any improper payments. Despite the red flags raised during the 2012 audits, and numerous complaints reported to Stryker of dealer misconduct, Stryker did not act to determine the scope of dealer-inflated invoices until 2015.

* In 2015, Stryker performed audits of other dealers in India. The audits revealed that the practice of Stryker India’s dealers inflating invoices for the sale of Stryker orthopaedic products to certain private hospitals — an improper practice identified three years earlier in connection with the 2012 audits — had become more widespread.

Lack of accurate books, records

* From 2010 through 2015, Stryker India failed to make and keep complete and accurate books and records that reflected its transactions and disposition of assets. In particular, Stryker India recorded potentially problematic payments to its dealers and to HCPs, some of which lacked any supporting documentation reflecting a clear  business purpose.

* A forensic review of Stryker India’s general ledger for the period 2010 through 2015 found a complete lack of documentation for 144 out of 533 transactions selected as a sample of Stryker India’s highest-risk and most compliance-sensitive accounts.

* During the period of 2010 through 2015, Stryker was unable to provide any documentation for 27% of sampled high-risk transactions on Stryker India’s general ledger.

The SEC ordered Stryker to appoint an independent consultant, review and evaluate the company’s internal controls, record-keeping and anti-corruption policies, and procedures relating to use of dealers, agents, distributors, sub- distributors, and other such third parties that sell on behalf of the company. The SEC noted in its official filing: “Stryker fortified its existing compliance program, which is designed to prevent, detect, and remediate potential misconduct. This program develops, maintains, and implements corporate policies and standard operating procedures setting forth specific due diligence and documentation requirements for relationships with foreign officials, health care professionals, consultants, and distributors.”

The company has also retained an independent consultant to “formulate a work plan: that will be evaluated by the agency and Stryker to address the SEC’s findings”.

WHAT INDIA’S REGULATOR FOUND

Dealers rigging bids, forming cartel

* In April 2012, the CCI fined PES Installations, MDD Medical System and Medical Product Services for “bid-rigging and forming a cartel” in tenders for procurement of a Modular Operation Theatre (MOT) and other medical equipment at AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital.

* The CCI also examined a contentious question: did the dealership agreement between Stryker India and PES violate sections of the Competition Commission Act? According to the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the Act, enacted in 2002, aims “to

prevent practices having adverse effect on competition, to promote and sustain competition in markets, to protect the interests of consumers and to ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants…”

* In its final order issued on April 16, 2014, based on the documents placed before it, CCI ruled that “according to the agreement struck with the dealer (PES Installations), Stryker could appoint any other firm as its dealer”. “However, according to the agreement, in this case PES Installations, the dealer could not sell products of any other company without the permission of Stryker,” the order said.

* The Director General appointed by CCI, under section 26 of the CCI Act, to conduct the investigation noted that the agreement that restricts PES to Stryker alone “impeded and restricts competition” and “constitutes violation of the law”.

* However, the CCI ruled in its final order that the agreement was “not violative of the law” on the grounds that “there are other competing products in the market” that are available to other “similarly placed” distributors.

The point to ponder here is that, with such unholy scenario and  milieu developing, where business deals and investors decide the treatment with  aberrant medical evolution taking place. Doctors involved with such big  companies will be promoted,  projected and survive. Will the honest doctors, who are not part of the game, be able to survive, sustain themselves or ultimately alienated  to  extinction?

source

 

Reel Heroes or Real Heroes. Filmy superstar vs Junior Doctor/Nurses: what does the society Need/desire/deserve


The old adage  “All that glitters is not Gold” is particularly relevant  in current era of media domination where media  projection shapes the perception and may defy  the  reality.  Media has dominated our lives and can sway the  opinion formation of masses.  Written media, television, social media  can collectively influence the mass opinion.

Society, in general, needs to be wise  enough  to realize the importance   of  getting  rid of  these blinders in  real life . One such factor that causes an illusional mist in the  thoughts of masses is projection in films. They create a mirage of illusional glitter wherein  there is blurring of real life from the reel life of heroes. The larger-than-life unreal persona of the celebrities on screen looks too charming and sometimes becomes undeniable and dominates mind of masses. The super-human characters played out in films appear to be real. The problem arises when the imaginary characters of the reel life stories are emulated in real life. Individuals as projected character fill in  peoples’ imagination and are perceived as real and   becomes ingrained in mind. The naivety of masses to perceive the projected character as real one  goes beyond a reasonable thought process and imagination.

 

These roles played in films are  not  really act of   inspiration  in real life  as  the actual purpose accomplished in the end of a movie  is entertainment of society and business for themselves. A recent  candid  admission  by the actor Mr Irrfan Khan  that film stars should  not be role models  was impressive (Hindustan times) .

   At the best, a particular projected character  (and  not individual acting star) may be a  role model. An actor or super star, is simply doing his work of “acting” in  the end. This work of acting may bring an entertainment of few hours at the most.

One  cannot stray away from the wisdom to  choose between what we consume merely for our entertainment and  what we believe or face in real life. One needs to differentiate between rationale truth behind the celebrity gimmicks in the media and exaggerated sensationalism. Sensation created merely for a commercial successful venture should not be allowed to overpower the judgments of real life.

 

But the problem starts, when these false perceptions created merely   by a projected  glimmer    takes the shimmer  away from the real worthy. The real  professionals and people who are worthy of glory become invisible behind  the glittery mist, a haze, which is unreal and unhelpful in real life.

   A  soldier contributes to our society much more in real terms. Even a junior doctor saves many lives in a  day in emergencies as compared to work of a superstar in films.  A teacher, nurse or scientist have contribution which is more fruitful to our generation. Also the scientists, who contribute immensely and bring about the  real change in our lives. Their contribution is huge to our society and much more than doing just acting on screen. The reel actor merely imitates the real life lived and actual work done by real heroes like soldier, doctor or teacher. Someone who only acts and  behaves like one, is respected and paid thousand times or more than the real one. In reality, people need  more than mere entertainment and reel role models and actors in their real lives.

 

Compare the trivial  amount of  remuneration, fame  and respect the real worker  gets  as compared to the film stars, who merely imitate their actions. Reel projection for purpose  of entertainment is more easier to enact and more profitable  than actual performance  in real life.  It is easier to become a reel hero, as it requires little hard work or just connections to get an opportunity.  Some one can be a reel hero just  by  dynastic factor  easily. Hard work is definitely required but that may or may not be prerequisite.

 

Even good films  may raise some social problem, which everyone knows already and offer no practical solution in reality. Therefore what good it brings to the public, beyond entertainment, is any body’s guess. The persona, actors usually  project on screen, may actually be far from his or her real personality. In most of cases, what he does in movies and reel life, is actually away from  possibility of real life . But strangely in present era, people lose sight of what is mere perception. It is clearly a story, tale, a drama, a myth and is not the real identity of the people, we see on-screen.

 

 

In present era, real contributions by people, who are saviours of human life and  the real heroes, remain unappreciated. People are so besotted by  fame and money that they fail to appreciate the sacrifices made by real heroes. Filmy super hero  just imitates  a doctor, soldier,  dacoit or a street hooligan and just pretends to be one on the screen.

 

But there are  real life heroes that exist around us. Doctors awake at night saving lives every minute or soldier in freezing cold are worthy  of more respect and are real heroes.  And it is up to the society  to look beyond the superficial and reel story, and focus on the real life actors. There has to be an true effort to make, respect and appreciate  real heroes.

Point to  ponder  is that whether society needs people  just  acting like   doctors,  soldiers  and not the  actual and real ones, who saves lives. Does Society need  only  entertainment, because respect  which is paid to someone who is  just  an   actor, is  not extended to real doctors, soldiers or other altruistic professions.

 A reel hero who acts like a soldier, is famous  and richer and than the  actual soldier, who dies unnamed and in penury.   Children of today’s times will strive  to become, who is worshiped and paid respect  by society and  therefore will prefer  to become reel heroes.

 

A  society truly needs the real people, who work and act for them, more than just entertainment. It will need total change in attitude of people to deconstruct the perceptions, which are based on mere projections and are away from reality.

It is time to recreate and worship real heroes, who have become invisible behind the glittery mist.

Society needs to envisage the bigger real picture, and should not be mistaken for another projected story.                          

The perception of the projection will decide, what does the   society actually  need- or desire-or deserve , “Reel Heroes or Real Heroes”.

Expensive medical education ? Future may be “free medical education”: NYU offers free education for all its medical students


     At a time when students, parents and even doctors are uncertain whether opting for medical college along with the vulnerability and risk associated with   becoming a doctor is worth it or not, some are naive enough to pay millions as fee for medical education and for securing a seat of MBBS.

Truth  cannot remain hidden for long.  It has  to be realized that getting into medical college is a minuscule component of the process of becoming a good doctor.  Once they opt for this profession, the real tough and prolonged battle begins. Quite a few successful candidates may eventually feel that the money spent and the hard work may not be worth it, especially those who may have invested in heavy fees and in debt.

Although the whole effort and huge expenditure to become doctors in this way may be really worthless in today’s scenario, considering the difficult times and vulnerability of medical profession

Paying the irrational fee of medical colleges may be an unwise idea for the candidates, who are not from strong financial backgrounds. But at the same time unfortunately, it may be a compulsion and entrapment for students, who have entered the profession and there is no way forward or fail to get residency.

The New York University School of Medicine will provide free tuition for all present and future students, the university announced.

Citing the risk of “overwhelming” debt, it says every student will qualify regardless of merit or financial need.  NYU said financial worries were driving graduates to more lucrative specialities, pushing doctors away from more general positions. The scholarship covers annual tuition costs of up to $55,000 (£43,000). A study produced by the Association of American Medical Colleges estimated that in 2017 75% of medical students graduated in debt. The university has reportedly been working for more than a decade to accrue the necessary funds to pay for tuition, and hopes to raise a total of $600 million (£472m) to make the scholarships available permanently. NYU School of Medicine made the surprise announcement at its annual White Coat Ceremony on Thursday – when new students receive a white lab coat as they begin their studies. In their statement, the university said debt is “fundamentally reshaping the medical profession in ways that are adversely affecting healthcare”.Graduates move towards higher-paying areas of medicine over paediatrics, primary care or gynaecology due to their “staggering student loans”. Aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt”. Robert Grossman, dean of the medical school and chief executive officer of NYU Langone Health, said: “This decision recognises a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians.”To date, only a handful of institutions have tried to make medical education tuition-free, according to Julie Fresne, senior director of student financial services of the Association of American Medical Colleges, a nonprofit organisation that represents medical schools. At UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, a $100m (£79m) fund announced several years ago pays for the entire cost of medical school for all four years, including tuition, fees, books and living expenses for about 20 per cent of its students. But that program is based on merit, not need.

Meanwhile, a small medical school affiliated with Case Western Reserve University at the Cleveland Clinic covers the tuition and fees for its five-year programme focusing on research. Most of the roughly 20,000 students per year enrolled in US medical schools take out sizeable federal loans to support their studies. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2017, the median debt for graduating medical students was $192,000 (£151,000).The median cost of medical school attendance, including living expenses, was $60,945 (£47,906) a year for public medical school and $82,278 (£64,675) for private medical school.

This may be a indicator of the future days to come, the need for medical education   to be cheap or made free,  to encourage young generation to become doctors. Society has the choice to encourage and nurture good doctor for itself or discourage them by financial exploitation and subjecting them to debt trap. NYU has wisely decided on its choice.

 

Real failures of Dr Hazida Bawa case: Five issues to ponder-why doctors suffer?


 The case of  Dr Hazida Bawa  is of importance worldwide in many ways, an opportunity  for learning some hard and truthful lessons, as it touched upon various crucial aspects involved in medical treatment, especially in difficult situations. Every one has sympathy for the deceased, but  to blame a human factor, doctors should not be presented as sacrificial lambs.

       The current verdict is nearer to reality and away from a feeling of revenge and harsher penalties. It  gives a hope  that now there will be  acknowledgement of the difficult circumstances and limitations of medical system in health care environment.  To make doctor scapegoat for the  system limitations, poor prognosis or severe disease may be satisfying for some but not sensible. In this case doctors lodged their protest, collected money for lawsuit and the decision was re-looked legally. But every  doctor may not be  lucky enough and may have to suffer  in silence.

 Real failure in this case will be ignoring the factors that actually cause huge suffering for doctors-

  1. Presumptive failure by retrospective analysis: Retrospective analysis of any treatment will always show few things at hindsight that could have been done and would have proved life saving.  One may presume that omission or commission  of certain actions during treatment would have saved the  life,   but one can’t be sure whether these additional presumed treatment would really have benefited the patient.  Therefore a  perception-reality gap is created and with  negative perception towards doctors, it is interpreted as a  failure of doctor merely on presumptive basis and hence declared as negligence.  The doctors who deal with life and death know that it is not correct interpretation, and no one can ever be sure of what the real outcome would be. They just do what they think will be most effective for the patient, and it may not eventually turn out to be the best ever.
  2. Variable interpretation: Same evidence, incidence and circumstances are interpreted and  judged differently by people and  even courts. Some will say it is negligence and other will say it is not. Some will bay for doctor’s blood and other will not. This variation in perception is not only in minds of lay men but also in the learned courts, who  decide  differently.  At the time of death of patient, a constant and  universal last link is only the doctor, that is visible. He is an unfortunate victim, a human factor   and blamed for  the harm done because of variable thought process.

 

  1. Medical knowledge vs wisdom: People who do not treat patients, may be very wise and may acquire medical knowledge by various sources. But medical wisdom comes  only after years of medical practice,  by observing varied situations and spectrum of diseases. An understanding of what can happen in given circumstances comes only by treating such   emergencies.         For non doctors, it is very difficult to  comprehend the medical complexities and real time scenarios. Even doctors, who do not treat regularly emergency patients, can attribute the harm as doctor’s  mistake.

 

  1. Feeling of revenge:  in case of an  adverse event, negative thoughts prevail all over. In present scenario with legal powers with the sufferer and common sentiments against doctors, it is easier to identify and blame some human factors.   Adverse outcome is frequently covered by media to create a sensation among masses.  Real circumstances can only be felt by doctors  but that remains unheard. Harm to patient, media cry and negative sentiments against the service providers creates a sense of revenge in mind of people.

 

  1. Doctor’s negligence vs system inadequacy; This visibility of doctor at the time of  declaration of death  or while treating the patient on his bedside, makes him vulnerable to all kinds of accusations. By application of an average wisdom, all deaths can be easily attributed or linked to fault of the doctor. Subtle presentations of severe disease, rapid deterioration, multi organ complexities, under staffing and sub optimal systems, inadequate equipment and  other innumerable shortcomings of the whole system may not be visible or not given consideration in the  haze, as compared to  publicity and attention  given to only doctor’s faults.

 

Doctors need genuine Leave – painful barb for others @ Tokyo medical school


Japan medical school admits to altering scores to keep out female applicants

  Usually the kind of work of doctors keep them on toes and it is difficult to have leaves. This may be a global  phenomenon.  Medical systems also are not very comfortable with doctor’s leaves. Scarcity of doctors and difficult replacements makes life of doctors busy and unsocial.  Systematic  denial of genuine leave has been proved by  investigations  at   Tokyo medical school.

 

A Tokyo medical school has confirmed after an internal investigation that it systematically altered entrance exam scores for years to keep out female applicants and ensure more men became doctors. The school wanted fewer female doctors because it anticipated they would become mothers and would shorten or halt their careers. It is extremely important to improve the working environment so that women can pursue their medical professions. School’s purpose in denying women entry was because female doctors often quit working after starting families. Women tend to avoid tough jobs like surgery or work in remote areas. They need to take a break from their careers because of pregnancy and childbirth.

 Tokyo Medical University manipulated all entrance tests results since 2000 or even earlier. The findings released Tuesday by lawyers involved in the internal investigation confirm recent reports in Japanese media.

The manipulation surfaced during an investigation of an alleged wrongful admission of a bureaucrat’s son.

The internal investigation found the school first reduced all applicants’ first-stage scores to 80 percent then added up to 20 points only to male applicants with three or fewer application tries.

The school wanted fewer female doctors because it anticipated they would become mothers and would shorten or halt their careers.

Japan’s government urged a medical university to promptly disclose the results of an investigation into its admissions process Friday after reports alleged it had altered the test scores of female applicants for years to deny them entry and ensure fewer women became doctors.

The school’s public affairs department said it had no knowledge of the reported manipulation but is investigating. The school is already facing a separate scandal involving the inappropriate admission of a top education bureaucrat’s son and was ordered by the education ministry to investigate its admissions records for the past six years. On Thursday, the school said it will combine the examination of the score manipulation allegation with that probe.

The share of female doctors who have passed the national medical exam has stayed at around 30 percent for more than 20 years, prompting speculation that interference in admissions is widespread at Japanese medical schools.

The Japanese medical university’s alleged systematic deduction of entrance exam scores only from female applicants has sparked outrage across Japan. It was reported Thursday that Tokyo Medical University has been slashing female applicants’ entrance exam scores for years to keep female student population low, on grounds they tend to quit as doctors after starting families, causing staffing shortages

Admissions records released to The Associated Press by the school show the percentage of women who passed the entrance exam rose from 24 percent in 2009 to 38 percent in 2010. The figure has since stayed below that level until decreasing to 18 percent this year, when a total of 171 students passed the exam. The ratio of female applicants who were accepted this year was 2.9 percent, compared to 8.8 percent for men.

 

Medical lawsuits, revenge & punishments to doctors : reminiscent of realms of ancient Hammurabi medical regulation


With the evolution of medical science and medical care intertwined with  medical business, braided changes in  medical  regulation is not an far off expectation. But reticulation of evolution to modern medicine  and health care has not happened  in  isolation. Simultaneously there has been  progressively complex emerging trends in medical business and changing patterns of health investments along with an era of corporate investments in health care  has also ushered.  Every one now wishes  to live longer  and  dreams of better quality of life with support of progressive medical care.  Opportunities projected by advancements in health care, have shown that these dreams can be a real possibility, in many cases. That kind of perception has given patients a hope in lieu of some money. With rich people willing to spend more, the insurance sector and investors putting money into health care, which was unthinkable few decades back in the  past.  This reticulation of business and  health care allowed health care to be controlled  in some way by administrators and investors. Away from the health providers, who actually treated the patients.

As it is no more simply treating a disease and involves many more issues.  New model of  medical regulation and business in  health care is  still  not a mature process. It has emerged and progressed in  just  for few decades, as compared to  medical treatments and systems that existed since ancient times. It is still in infancy and still has to go a  long way to do real justice to every one.   No one really knows how to regulate this difficult area,  which encompasses life and death, deals with extremes of poverty and riches, mortality and morbidity, pain and  relief , sadness and happiness, smiles and sorrows and uncountable emotions, intertwines with financial aspects. Most difficult part is  amalgamation of  intricacies of science with minds of  patient and doctor’s skill in  newly evolved milieu of financial complexities.  Results are not encouraging for the medical profession.

 An effort to govern or  regulate the medical profession  is not new. Hammurabi  had initiated to  write the rules of the game. This single professional species was managed with cruel regulation around 5000 years ago, that initiated a change in the global perception and regulatory system in radical and unprecedented ways.

Hammurabi  5000 years ago,  was  not even at the   doorstep of medical science, but he  promulgated some rules. It is difficult to say whether he was naive or  brilliant  enough to make it more mathematical. He fixed  heavy prize for saving lives and used to  cut the hands of physicians for death or untoward incident. But he was still wise enough to pay heavily if life was saved.   After thousands of years, with some scientific advancements, our regulation has remained more or less similar in basics. It is still based on principles of revenge and punishments. Now clearly  knowing well the limitation of medical science and the uncertainties and complexities of human body in better way, it still  remains  somewhat  unfair to doctors.  In other words, it has not attained enough  evolution and maturity.

  Hammurabi at the start of civilization believed that doctors needed to be punished in case there was poor prognosis. He failed to understand the complexity of human body and the limitations of medical  science, most of which was unknown at that time. By an application of average wisdom, doctor can be easily blamed for poor outcome, because he is always a common link between treatment and poor prognosis. Stricter punishments were imposed to  regulate medical profession, even  when the medical science was not even developed enough to deal with most of diseases.  Children are always taught in school that medical profession is a noble one. But they are never told, about the cruelty this profession has faced since ancient times.  Almost universally, the earlier work or contribution of  a doctor  to society is  not taken into account.  Even for complexities of medical science and uncertainties of the outcome, blame can  conveniently be  passed on doctors due to application of average wisdom.

    Hammurabi’s Codex specified the harshest form of deselection of health providers possible. If the physician erred through omission or commission, his fingers or hands were cut off, immediately stopping his practice. Therefore, a single mistake can undo all the good work of past or the future good work that could have been accomplished.

Problem here is that who can differentiate with certainty the real cause of sufferings of patient, a poor prognosis or a mistake.  Such harsh  regulatory systems will dissuade  other good people joining the profession, again  resulting in  further inhibition and flourishing of profession for the good.  Obviously,  harsher  penalties will discourage a physician surplus.

Today the global  system of medical regulation, is becoming somewhat  similar, to those ancient regulations in  terms of punishment and revenge. Differential payment system for health care also resembles the Code of Hammurabi in some respects. And this is despite the fact that now we are very well conversant with the known uncertainty and complexity of the human body and despite cognizance of the poor prognosis in many disease states.

Fear factors on doctors and impact of present legal complexities is already at par with that of Hammurabi’s era

“Doctor, why to risk yourself for petty gains?” Telephonic treatment is negligence: Bombay High Court


“Doctor, save the patient, but save yourself also”.

In medicine, any small or big disease or  procedure can have complications.  Frequently, dangerous complications have a subtle and insidious onset with very little symptoms. DVT and pulmonary thrombo- embolism is a known and life threatening complication associated with pregnancy.  This complication and the unfortunate  scenario that  happened  is not unknown and has a potential to recur. So doctors need to learn from such incidences to save themselves.

Since the overall scenario of medical complication and consumerism have undergone a sea change, doctors need to  be careful and change their approach to save from legal issues arising from these. They have to make sure that each small problem  has to be seen carefully in person, as it may harbour a serious threat.

Observing that prescribing medicines to patients without diagnosis amounted to culpable negligence, the Bombay High Court has turned down the anticipatory bail pleas of a doctor couple booked for the death of a woman patient. The doctors have been booked by the Ratnagiri Police under section 304 of Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) after the patient died earlier this year. According to the police, the woman was admitted to the accused couple’s hospital in Ratnagiri in February this year where she underwent caesarean operation and gave birth to a baby. The court order said the woman and the child were normal and were discharged two days later. The doctor spoke with the chemist who then gave some medicines to the relatives of the woman. However, even after taking the medicines, the woman did not feel better and was taken to the same hospital, it said. When the woman’s condition deteriorated the next day, the doctors at the hospital shifted her to another hospital, where she died, it said.

   Question arises, why  doctors commonly   need to prescribe by telephonic advice,  specially as in this case, if the doctor themselves were not available.  what made them  to enter into such a dangerous situation? Do  really there are substantial gains to risk so much and everything in life? The reasons:

  1. Most of the time, to retain the patient. As they already treated the patient, It is a natural tendency to  continue the treatment. Factors here are loyalty issues and loosing patient to other physicians.
  2. Sometimes patient request, to avoid coming to hospital or to avoid visiting unknown hospital or other doctors. It is not uncommon that patients request some advice on phone.
  3. Symptoms do not look dangerous or alarming. Patient interpretation is not appropriate. Even myocardial infarction ( heart attack) is taken  as due to “wind problem.”  Main problem here is that doctor is relying on patient’s interpretation, which is likely to be incorrect.
  4. Most dangerous is a friendly advice or relatives. Where it is mistake of both doctor and patient.
  5. Patient is far off and for convenience

 

So  “Gains” in such situations are nil or petty.

Rarely it is done for earning money. It is just done for the sake of convenience. But doctors should  wake up in  the era of consumerism, where no one is going to pardon them for  mistakes.  Retrospective analysis gained with wisdom of hindsight makes them repent many times more than petty gains.

Doctor need to forgo petty gains in order to save themselves. Do not take chances. No one will realize later, what were the causes and intentions behind the mistake.

“Doctor, save the patient, but save yourself also”.

 

 

Private Medical College Seat (MBBS)(#Medical #NEET): System of Entrapment or (?)Debt Trap For Many.


MBBS debt trap for many Private Medical College Seat (MBBS)-Debt Trap For Many.

Mirroring the US situation, where medical students come out of the education system with huge loans to repay, India’s medical education is becoming a debt trap for thousands  of medical students with governments doing little to regulate medical college fees.

High fees in most medical colleges means that students who have to take loans to pay it cannot hope to service the loans from what they earn as doctors after completing MBBS. Here’s how the math works. Annual tuition fees in private medical colleges average over Rs 10 lakh. That’s half a crore rupees or more for the entire course when charges for things like hostel, mess, library, internet and examinations are included. The EMI on an education loan of Rs 50 lakh works out to at least Rs 60,000. Government salaries for an MBBS graduate range from Rs 45,000 to Rs 65,000 depending on the state and area. The private sector is even worse.

This raises a question: The government is allowing the opening of more private colleges or allowing existing ones to increase seats citing shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas and in primary health centres, but don’t high fees defeat the purpose? Can such doctors have a living wage after they pay the EMI? In most banks, education loans cannot exceed Rs 7 lakh to Rs 10 lakh without collateral, which typically would mean mortgaging a house or land. With collateral, the loan amount can be . High MBBS fees leaving many doctors in debt trap

Usually, the loan carries an interest of 10% to 12.5% and has to be repaid within 10 to 12 years. If education loans become prohibitive, it could make medical education the preserve of the rich. A TOI analysis of fees charged in 210 private medical colleges in 2017 showed that about 50 charged anything between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh and over 30 charged even more. Several government colleges too charge high fees, especially in Gujarat and Rajasthan. After 4.5 years of MBBS, a student has to do a one-year paid internship, during which time his/her salary would be at best Rs 20,000-25,000 per month.

After MBBS, whether a student is doing three-year post-graduation or working as a resident doctor or medical officer, the salary in government service ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 55,000 in most states and even less in the private sector. In about three to four years, the salary rises to about Rs 70,000 at best in most places. With EMIs of Rs 45,000- 65,000 for loans ranging from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, doctors are left with barely enough to live on. For those who get married by this stage, the added responsibility of running a household complicates matters further. Even in states with fee regulation, the annual fees in private colleges could range from Rs 2.5 lakh to over Rs 6 lakh+ ,

For those without means, that would entail a loan of Rs 12 lakh to Rs 30 lakh and hence unaffordable EMIs.

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