Story of Unlabeled drugs and Fraud In name of Ayurvedic treatment


         A myth, that any plant extracted drug is useful, free of side effects, is a belief ingrained deep in the minds of people. Such unscrupulous advice is followed blindly without even verifying the authenticity of the source. A hope of miracle is flashed to patients who have been given a “no hope” by scientific medicine, are an easy prey for such fraudsters.

   Another major problem is that medicines and syrups distributed in such manner are without name of drug, contents and doses. It is not uncommon to get lethal substances like steroids, hormones and heavy metals in dangerous doses.  

     Ayurvedic medicines and practitioners  belong to a  stream, also based on a  science. The medicines and treatment has to be  controlled and regulated in the same way, as for allopathic  stream.  So that criminals, who are not trained in ayurvedic stream can not play with lives of gullible people, giving them false hope.  Such acts  are  real crime to society, done with an intention to cheat rather than treating them.

   Any one distributing medicines or medical advice of any kind, has to be registered with a council, for those particular medicines. advertisement of such drugs or products should be on some scientific basis.

Regulating Ayurvedic medicines and practice will help  not only the genuine  Ayurvedic  doctors but also go a long way  in benefiting the ancient system of medicine and promote research.  

  Following may be just one of the cases, millions may remain unnoticed.

False ayurveda hopes to the hopeless

Tarun Mandal has spent almost all of his savings trying to get his son, suffering from acute jaundice since his birth, treated for the past one and a half years. A desperate Mandal recently paid a youth Rs 65,000 for an ayurvedic cure. However, his wife’s suspicion about the ‘gold ash’ tasting like churan led cops to an inter-state racket cheating terminally ill patients with a promise of cure. Mandal, who sells food items on a cart at the Sarojini Nagar market, was not the only one to fall in the trap. Cops have found at least 40 people who had been duped by the gang. Most of the victims are family members of children from different states getting treated in the capital’s top government hospitals.
“I gave away all my savings to them. They even guaranteed that all my money would be returned if the medicines failed. But when I went back to the same shop, they refused to recognise me,” said Mandal, who has already spent Rs 2 lakh and needs more money for a surgery.
The gang has also duped the grandfather of a seven-year-old thalessemia patient from Uttarakhand.

other incident dangerous chemicals in alternate medicines

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.

 

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”.

 

 

Viagra & anaesthetic drug sold as herbal alternative medicines


This news in Times of India  is just an tip of the iceberg, the reality  of alternative medicine  industry. Toxic substances being sold at exorbitant prices  labelled as herbal substances can be unmasked only if checked  and controlled strictly.  Gullible masses consume these substances without knowing the right dose or right drugs thinking them as herbal products . Assumptions that they are free from side effects is another myth, that goes unsaid.

MUMBAI: The Aurangabad division of FDA has found sildenafil citrate, commonly known as Viagra, and a short-acting anaesthetic drug in two alternative  medicines meant to increase sexual desire and potency that were randomly tested for quality recently. The worrying finding has prompted the drug regulatory body to issue a statewide circular asking its officials to seize any available stock of these drugs- Power up capsules and Tiger king cream. The containers of both the alternative medicines didn’t mention the allopathic components sildenafil and anaesthetic drug (lignocaine hydrochloride), giving rise to fear of serious health consequences in people who might consume them unknowingly. Viagra, in particular, which is given for erectile dysfunction, is supposed to be taken only when prescribed by a specialist as it can react with other ongoing medications and give rise to life-threatening complications. In July, FDA officials raided the office of Srishti Unani Medicine Agency in Aurangabad and found stocks worth Rs 16,000 that had arrived from Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Tests revealed each Power up capsule contained 49.45mg of Viagra, while Tiger king cream had a significant amount of lignocaine hydrochloride, though only the herbal components were mentioned in the packing material.

The spurious drugs were manufactured in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. “We will lodge an FIR against Naman India, the UP-based manufacturer, that has been selling these drugs in the name of herbal medicine to gullible consumers,”, joint commissioner, FDA, Aurangabad. He said the department is yet to establish where these drugs were supposed to be distributed, but there is demand from across the state. It was during a raid in the city sometime in 2015 when the department woke up to rampant adulteration of so-called alternative  medicines with allopathic drugs. An official said it was an “industry worth millions” that clandestinely ran out of Tier-2 and 3 cities or slums in metros. “Under the Act, manufacturing of alternative  drugs needs a licence, but there are no legal provisions for distribution and supply. So monitoring becomes a challenge,” said an FDA official. Medically, doctors say, such rackets are not just about making spurious drugs and making a quick buck but messing with people’s lives. “It’s a menace that has existed for years unchecked. Alternative  practitioners charge exorbitant sums for these  medicines that illegally contain sildenafil, which otherwise costs just Rs 30-40 when sold as an allopathy drug.

High court asks fixed duty hours for doctors. Can the suggestion end moral enslavement of doctors?


The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that the standards have to be set regarding the working hours of doctors and the doctor-patient ratio in hospitals.

Although it is first of its kind of acknowledgement of the   need to improve the plight of doctors.  Despite doing all the hard work, the doctors are usually blamed, specially by media and celebrities, for the health malaise. But  the fundamental reasons and inept system remain concealed and issues are put under the carpet deliberately. Therefore this suggestion by court, although represents   tip of the iceberg, but still an important admission of problems the medical   community faces.

The suggestion came from a bench of  High Court after it was told by a private body, tasked to evaluate healthcare quality in the three hospitals in Delhi, that doctors work for excessive hours and there was no set doctor-patient ratio.

Among the numerous problems one of the issues is enslaved kind of duty hours. The   enthusiastic species of doctors   go on doing it for years,  along with never ending studies. There is no count of hours, no money or compensation in most of healthcare systems of world for these inhuman duties, exploited young energy and lives. And then comes the most painful part when they do not get the due respect in the society. Their selfless hard work goes unnoticed and unappreciated most of the time. Most people take this slave like working as guaranteed and do not feel it as any injustice to the  doctors. The  doctors,  while on duty, may be verbally abused, routinely threatened, assaulted or dragged to courts for trivial issues and that too for no faults of theirs. They just become punching bags for the inept healthcare system and invisible medical industry though lives saved by these young men are uncountable and people relieved of pain and agony innumerable.
Though some western countries of European union and NHS medical systems have realized the inhuman duties and are now following a fixed hours duty schedule, but still most of countries and health systems have kept their eyes closed regarding these slave like duty hours and poor work conditions.
A complex  job that also requires doing duties day and night, sometimes for 24 to 48 hours at a stretch without proper meals and sleep. Most of the hospitals don’t even ensure tea and food on these duties for doctors .But these young hardworking people do it gladly and enthusiastically, doing a most noble work saving innumerable lives or relieving countless people of their pain. No rights have ever been defined for the  doctors, only rules of punishment and exploitation.
This great work is not even acknowledged in any way. These duties are merely systematic exploitation of doctors because of:
– sometimes in the name of Hippocratic oath,
– sometimes in the name of morality
– because of the kindness in their hearts
– in the name of suffering and dying patients
– in name of shortage of doctors and staff.
– for fear of courts and medico-legal cases
– for fear of assaults since the number of doctors is less per patient.
– by some administrative systems who use pressure tactics and sometimes
bullying to get work done
– by similar widely prevalent culture in most hospitals
– for sake of their career and higher degrees
– for sake of employment
– in the name of training , and in many more ways.

Court has definitely noble intentions by suggesting some regulations. But   for achieving the said goal,  which looks like a  distant dream to doctors, a strong will is required from administrators. Till society understands the concealed sense of enslavement that remains hidden, while performing these duties, the suffering of the profession will not end.  A problem that is clearly visible to every one,  but not admitted till now,  is in itself an evidence for a difficult scenario to be implemented.

I wonder if this is perceived as normal and routine then what else does slavery constitute?

 

 

Society deserves the doctors, it chooses and nurtures. Musk-melon stem will not grow apples


Doctors are just as offshoots of a tree called as society. They essentially are the same as rest of the society.  It is a specialized branch of tree which helps other offshoots of tree to save others.  As  part of same tree, they resemble the parent society, of which they are part.  Society needs to choose and nurture a force of doctors carefully with an aim to combat for  safety of its own people.  

Since it is a difficult path  to be a good doctor, there has to be some reason why someone will  choose to be a doctor. The path will require sacrificing golden years of his life in studies  and  working hard for the benefit of others thereafter.

Our society fails to develops a robust system of choosing and  nurturing  good doctors and therefore  itself responsible for decline in standards of medical profession.

 

  1. Exorbitantly expensive medical education and lowered merit: aspiring doctors are now forced to pay exorbitant fee,  in millions. Many go under heavy debt to pay medical colleges fee. Children with lower ranks in merit pay millions and can  become doctors. The real problem here is that real deserving will be left out.

Medical students from the very onset are victim and witness to  these practices and   exploitation. They see their parents pay this unreasonable fee through their noses or take loans. Such blatant injustice  will have an everlasting effect on the young impressionable minds. Society gives them lessons of corruption and exploitation.

  1. Discouragement  of medical fraternity:  The adage “To err is human” probably does not apply to the doctors anymore. Hence they are harassed often for any adverse clinical outcome even though it may be because of poor prognosis of patient. They work under continuous fear and stress and are punished and assaulted for each small or big error. Society has failed to support them in their difficult times. Best and talented may try to shun away from the profession.  
  2. Industry earns, but blames doctor: Till now, doctor patient interaction was the central point of the health industry, a core around which medical industry revolved. But now   this interaction, treatment and  almost everything is controlled by industry. By provoking controversy about doctors for varied reasons, medical industry and law has positioned themselves between the doctor and  patient and  taken a center stage in health care. Every one associated with industry like medical education, pharmaceutical, suppliers, insurance, administrators, managers, equipment industry, insurance earn from the medical sector, but remain invisible. Blame for all the cost and sufferings is conveniently put on the doctor hence causing diminution  of respect. Loss of respect for the profession is a bad advertisement for good talent to the profession.
  3. Overzealous regulation of medical profession: because of falling standards, every one is feels a need for stricter punishing regulation of medical profession. Time and resources which should have been utilized for treatment of patients, has to be used for complex documentation, frivolous medical lawsuits and communication. It is not uncommon to use doctors as scapegoats to save the weak health system causing further oppression of medical profession.
  4. Exploitation by law industry: Even in few advanced countries, one can see instigating advertisement of lawyers on zero percent fee. While doctor may is paid miniscule amount of  money by patients, he will be sued for millions. And lawyers change in lakhs. Money earned by medical lawsuit is divided between client (so called patient) and lawyer.  Doctor will definitely divert their energies to save themselves from such practices rather than focusing on treatment of patient. In an era, where brothers and sisters fight for money, doctors are easiest target to extract money.
  5. Defining the patient as consumer has created fear in mind of doctors and deterioration of doctor patient relationship.
  6. Wrong projections by media: Painful retrospective analysis of work of doctor by media, courts and public continue. One stray incidence of even alleged or  perceived negligence is projected as generalization. Whole profession is painted in poor light. Whole community looses respect because of irresponsible behavior of some people in media to earn quick money and fame. Ultimately it will help everyone except doctor and patient and discourage the excellence in medical care.
  7. Doctor’s assault: the inability and lack of support of society to prevent assault against their savior will hit the enthusiasm of doctors towards patients. It will propagate children’s unwillingness to enter the profession amidst chaotic conditions.

       Apple tree will have apples and musk melons plant will  grow muskmelons only.  One should not expect apples to grow on muskmelon stem. If society has failed to demand for a good and robust system, failed to save them, it should not  rue scarcity of good doctors. Merit based cheap good medical education system is the need of the society. This is in interest of society to nurture good doctors for its own safety.

    Therefore the quality of doctors who survive and flourish in such system will be a natural consequence of  how society chooses and nurtures the best for themselves.

 

 

Quack menace: Patient killed by quack (Delhi): qualified doctors regulated strictly but not unqualified?


 

In an era, when even licensed and qualified doctors are finding it  difficult to practice medicine, it is strange that unqualified and unlicensed are having a field day. Why a strict regulation does not apply to them, is beyond any reasoning and logic. If a medical facility or clinic is functional, it is difficult for the patient, specially in emergency, to check or even doubt its credentials. How such facilities are open, functional and thriving, which does not have a qualified medical person is beyond logic. Sadly our regulation is trying to regulate, who are already regulated. It is trying to punish those who are qualified and licensed, but turns a blind eye towards unlicensed and unqualified doctors.

Such fake doctors own medical set ups, may conduct surgeries,  sometimes run with little help from qualified doctors,  and do procedures. Another problem is that they   promote fake rumours about genuinely qualified doctors and create a mist of mistrust to propagate their fake medical business.

If this is state of medical affairs prevalent in heart of capital and such facilities are functional and thriving, what will be state of affairs in peripheral or remote areas. Again it does not need an Einstein brain to guess.

The Delhi Medical Council (DMC) on Wednesday ordered criminal action against a quack whose “treatment” resulted in the death of a patient in November last year.

The hospital in which the patient was treated was also not registered with the Directorate of Health Services, Delhi. The patient was treated by an unqualified person in an unregistered hospital and did not receive proper treatment, which led to his death. The man, who had pretended to be a doctor, had been practising medicine for almost 12 years in Delhi and was a member of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), a pan-india representative organisation of doctors, and the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), a renowned association of paediatricians.

The 45 years old patient  had an undiagnosed liver disease. He went to a private hospital in Munirka ( New Delhi) around 2 pm on noticing blood in his vomit and stool. Within nine hours, the condition of the patient deteriorated and he was taken to Safdarjung hospital New Delhi , where he was declared dead on arrival at 2 am.

The patient was just put on a saline and given some antibiotics and pain medication. No diagnostic test was done to find the source of the bleeding, neither was any blood given to the patient. Any doctor can tell you the treatment was wrong. First he gave a DMC number, but the number corresponded to someone else. So, he provided  a registration number of the Goa Medical Council, again it belonged to someone else.

 

This is an  example of  how modern medicine is detrimental in unsafe hands, that are functional without proper training. How these fake doctors openly call themselves doctors, use prefix of Dr and register themselves somehow.   It is no less than fraud with lives of innocent public.

Neglect towards this sad reality  is akin to playing with health of innocent people. Medical organizations and media  has either  not taken it seriously or not able to take any constructive step  in curbing this menace by quacks.

Although genuine doctors face many problems from system of quackery. Misuse of antibiotics, local goonism and nuisance, all kinds of malpractice, misguiding the patient are few examples. But ultimately it is the society who is  the sufferer. Therefore resistance to such practices and  a wish to have good health system is  actually need of society. Unless people themselves make a true effort towards a robust health system, this menace of quackery is likely to persist, due  to prevalence  of  vested interests.

Tragedy at Varanasi: comparison of multiple healthy deaths due to civic negligence vs one in hospital due to disease


                There is a stark  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 by 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   a naked “negligence  in deaths of healthy people” in such cases  of civic negligence.  

In an unfortunate incident at Varanasi , at least 19 people were crushed to death and more than a dozen injured after two concrete beams fell off 40 foot-high pillars at an under construction flyover in Varanasi on Tuesday evening. Massive civic negligence  again leading to  entirely preventable loss of lives. These incidents bring fore to my mind the misplaced priorities of media and society  which too have  contributed to  some extent to these unabated ongoing preventable   deaths  of  hundreds of  healthy people.

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.  It’s time media took it upon itself to bring to fore these issues before accidents, so that many innocent lives. Timely action can prevent these deaths. 

       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. They have ignored other important things like civic negligence and has instead trained their entire energy in  blaming the doctors  in an effort  to get something sensational out of nothing.

The whole blame  is cleverly put  on doctors. Even after doing everything possible, doctor may be running for his life, trying to save himself from goons. He may be an object for revenge. He may be running after lawyers, if a medical lawsuit is filed. Even if court give the judgement after decades in favour of doctor, harassment of the doctor is permanent and irreversible damage is  done  to doctor. He is already punished.

Here it will be seen later, whether some one can be punished or not.

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. 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 sensationalising 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.

      

 

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