Healthcare system a sinking ship: Says Niti Aayog


A chaotic and non-uniform system, after years of neglect cannot be corrected overnight or by change in piecemeal policies. It needs to be revamped from the roots. To do it from grass root  level especially with financial constraints,  it will need a  sincere will to develop  the system.

                     India’s top think tank said Thursday that the country’s healthcare system resembled a “sinking ship”and desperately needs more private participation in smaller towns to run the government’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat program efficiently.

“We would require all hands on deck, as they say,” Niti Aayog adviser Alok Kumar said at the Healthcare Federation of India’s Sixth Annual Summit, referring to the poor state of healthcare in India. The Ayushman Bharat’s insurance program, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), has been facing constraints in smaller cities due to a dearth of hospitals.

“We can’t have all the patients being transported to tier-1 and tier-2 cities for treatment because that is not a model which is sustainable,” Kumar said.

The Lancet, the world’s oldest and most prestigious journal, had last year ranked India’s healthcare system at a dismal 145 out of 195 countries, worse than even North Korea and Syria. The ranking was worse than its smaller Asian peer Philippines and neighbour Sri Lanka, a fact also pointed by Kumar.

Kumar said that a number of hospitals in smaller cities, including those run by public sector enterprises, are under-utilized even though there is strong demand for their services in these regions, especially because of the insurance program.

“Singrauli, for instance, the power capital of India, has hospitals of NTPC, Coal India Ltd; all of them underutilized (like) shells standing. Railway hospitals (are like) shells standing but not being utilized efficiently enough,” Kumar said.

He urged large private hospital chains to manage the hospitals run by state enterprises better by widening the scope of their services to beyond their own employees.

The PMJAY was introduced last year, and aims to provide health insurance cover of 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, which would total around 50 crore beneficiaries.

Ayushman Bharat is the umbrella program, with PMJAY for secondary and tertiary hospitalization, and health and wellness centres for primary healthcare facilities. Under the Ayushman Bharat, the government aims to create around 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres.

While the Indian government aims to increase the share of public health spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2025 under the National Health Policy, currently it is still only around 1%.

Another major problem for the poor state of the sector is the lack of health insurance for patients, leading to an out of pocket expenditure making up for 61% of total health expenses for households, as of 2015-16, latest National Health Accounts data showed.

To reduce out of pocket expenses, the government introduced the Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme, but large private hospital chains have shown resistance to participating in it due to ‘low package rates’ for various treatment procedures. Kumar said that the government was willing to listen to hospitals and other private entities and make changes to policy if they were ready to invest in the sector.

 

Risk to health workers working in remote areas (specially-Women; Doctors & Nurses)


 

Often  an issue is raised that doctors and nurses  are hesitant to go to  remote places.  Brutal rape and murder of Hyderabad vet doctor  is an evidence of the  dangers lurking because of  preying eyes   and lack of security, specially to women health workers (doctors and nurses).

 A  ghastly  incident that highlights the dangers associated with entering unfamiliar places, unsecured environment  and a dark world with  no one to listen to   heart wrenching cries of the unassuming victim. With no serious policing activities, it may turn out to be unthinkable nightmare.

       But  the lady doctor  went  to a place where transport was difficult and paid the price. A  women  is being  posted to an area where transport and security  were not provided and thereby  assigned  an unsafe posting.

         Doctor   should consider these factors before joining at unsafe places.

          Problem is that the system does not take into account the risk to health workers, their convenience  and  family obligations. Their difficulty in transport,  the security issues, providing basic amenities are  not considered important by  administrators.

  The system  that failed to  provide proper transport and security is the  real culprit.

 Till  some one  puts a question to  the  system and makes them accountable, there will be  more cases of this kind.

  Had  the  deceased  not been  a doctor, or from  some  other profession,  there was no compulsion  for her to go to remote areas.

        Lack of medical facilities  and infrastructure add to the  risk, as the health workers are held responsible for  all the short comings. Not infrequently they become the punching bags for the  inept system and infra structure deficiencies.     Females doctors and nurses are at greater  risk for obvious reasons and strangely there are no special provisions made for their security. Usually they are allotted a place where  they have to fend for themselves.  If one thinks it seriously, risk is even  greater than anticipated.

   Women -Doctors & Nurses- need to take precautions and save themselves in view of system insensitivity.

 

21  occupational-risk factors – for doctor and nurses

Real story of female doctor assault- serving uncivilized society

Work life balance problem for female doctor and nurses

Disadvantage of being a doctor

Who killed Hyderabad  Vet Doctor? Answer : “OUR SYSTEM”


 

      A vet doctor  was subjected to   brutal rape and death in Hyderabad.  An incident that filled  our hearts with  grief  and  pain.

Who are culprits? The four men, caught and will be given punishment. But are they alone the culprits?

       No; there are culprits who will not be even named. Our system is the biggest culprit.             

 Often  an issue is raised that doctors do not go to  remote places.

 But  the lady doctor  went  to a place where transport was difficult and paid the price. A female is posted to an area where transport and security  were not provided. She was given an unsafe posting with no security  and no transport.   The person who gave her  such posting is also the  culprit

         The system  that failed to  provide proper transport and security is the  real culprit. Till  some one  puts a question to  the  system and makes them accountable, there will be  more cases of this kind.

        May  the departed soul rest in peace. 

       Doctor   should consider these factors before joining at unsafe places.

 

 female  doctor  assault ; serving uncivilized society

Young veterinarian murdered, set on fire near Hyderabad after her vehicle broke down

The victim, who had left her house in Shadnagar for Kolluru village to attend her duties at a veterinary hospital, called her sister on Wednesday night to inform that her two-wheeler had broken down while returning home.

A young veterinarian has been murdered by unknown persons, while her burnt body was found on Thursday in Shadnagar town close to the Telangana state capital, police said.The charred body of the victim was found at Chatanpally bridge near Shadnagar town in the Ranga Reddy district.The victim, who had left her house in Shadnagar for Kolluru village to attend her duties at a veterinary hospital, called her sister on Wednesday night to inform that her two-wheeler had broken down while returning home.She told her sister that she was feeling scared and that somebody had offered to help her and taken her vehicle for repair. When her family members tried to contact her later, her mobile phone was found to be switched off.Police said the charred body of a female, aged between 20-25 years, was found near the bridge. Sridhar Reddy identified victim’s body as being that of his daughter.Senior police officers rushed to the scene for launching their investigations and were scanning CCTV footage from a nearby toll gate for clues.It may be recalled that in another gruesome incident earlier this month in the same district a man burnt alive a woman revenue official inside her office near here, but in the process also suffered critical burn injuries himself. The shocking incident occurred in the Abdullapurmet Tahsil Office in Ranga Reddy district on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

 

 

 

Myths and facts about ICU ventilator: small boat in sea storm


 

 Some one who is drowning, a small boat can  save his life, till sea storm settles or the victim reaches a safe land. The boat will not settle the sea storm, but enough to save a person from catastrophe. In reality, ventilator is the invention, which should be worshiped. But contrarily, due to wrong projections and misguided perceptions, it has been hated despite saving lives.

     Although doctors and ventilators are in a similar situation, projected in a wrong way,  hated in spite of doing good work and saving lives. They are hated and despised, despite the only ones of help in life and death situations. Following are few myths and fact about ventilator.

  1. Myth : Once on ventilator, patients do not survive: common myth is that  once the patient is placed on ventilator, he will not survive.  Human body,  when  gets severely  diseased or  under stress, heart and lungs need to be supported for saving the life, till ailment    So, when the battle for saving live is ongoing, almost all the patients will have to be placed on the ventilator. It is a last ditch attempt made to save the patient’s life. However when the patients do not survive people feel that it’s the ventilator which has caused death, rather than a rational thought about severe disease as a cause.

             In reality, it is the severity of disease and possibility of death, when ventilator is required. It is necessary to support life.

  1. Myth : Ventilator is a modality for mere prolongation of life: every disease has a spectrum. Every disease can progress  from a reversible  to irreversible state. As an effort is ongoing while waiting to reverse the process, the patient will need  ventilator to sustain life. Unless the disease reaches a stage of  irreversibility,  ventilator is indispensible  for an  absolute need to maintain life. Since in serious condition, it is an uncertain prognosis.  In retrospect, combined with application of an average wisdom, the time of uncertainty and institution of ventilator   can be  interpreted  as a mistake.  As the whole exercise is labeled as futile and expensive by relatives.   it’s a grey area and the  negative thoughts are fuelled because of retrospective wisdom in hindsight.  The real prognosis can not be predicted in real time.

In reality, Ventilator is a machine which just  supports respiration and not  responsible for  heart beating. Therefore it   buys time for healing and treatment of primary disease.

  1. Myth : Ventilator will cause death:

one can understand this simple logic on the basis that patients are placed on dialysis when kidneys fail. Patients are placed in cast when bones are fractured for a fixed predefined period of time. Similarly patient is placed on ventilator when lungs fail. Ventilator is used till the time  lungs recover and become fully functional.

                        In reality; Risk is because of disease, which needs ventilator and not vice versa. Ventilator is a friendly machine which helps people who have failed lungs.

  1. Myth : Doctors and hospitals keep dead patients on ventilator for financial gains

Fact:  placing patient on ventilator is a very critical decision, taken in best interest of patient to buy time, to so as to treat the disease.  A patient needing on ventilator is actually so sick, that not  instituting ventilator will risk the patient’s life. Knowing all these facts, doctors take a decision to keep the patients on ventilator.

         As once the patient is on ventilator,  it is a stress for the doctor to take the patient off the ventilator. As such ventilator is a SANCTUM SANCTORUM life saving machine,  to be used only in life and death situations.

 

  1. Myth : Its miracle if the patient placed on ventilator survives.

Given the fact that placing the patient on ventilator on scientific facts. There are clear indications  for putting the patient on ventilator.   A much larger patients put on ventilator are actually saved and go home.

Fact:  Everyday thousands of patients are placed on ventilator and sent home to lead a normal life: Any patient who is given general anesthesia is placed on ventilator in the operation theater and then taken off the ventilator at the end of the surgery. In these cases patients are placed on ventilator so as patient can be put to deep sleep (called anesthesia) during which surgery on desired part can be carried out. Soon after the surgery patient are taken off the ventilator and soon thereafter discharged for home after few days of healing.

 

  1. Myth :Doctors place patients on ventilator at their own will:

Fact:   there are scientific parameters which decide when the patient should be placed on the ventilator and when the patient should be taken off the ventilator. So the decision to place the patient is scientific and based on objective parameters.

  Contrary to this popular myth, it is a compulsion for the doctor to put patient on ventilator to prevent death in serious situations.  Doctors are usually thinking several steps ahead of lay person about medical science.

  1. Myth :All patients placed on ventilator are unconscious:

 

Fact: this is not necessary. Usually patients are sedated  for their comfort.  they can be made to walk, write and even perform small tasks when on ventilator, depending upon their lung condition.

  Patients are also put on ventilator in case of airway failure when unable to protect their airway for various reasons. Another reason why patients are placed on ventilator is inability of the patients to protect his or her airway. Conscious and alert patients can swallow normally formed mouth secretions.  When patients consciousness level is dulled the ability of the patient to protect his airway is lost or compromised. This causes secretions from mouth to enter into the lungs trough the airway i.e. trachea causing infections in the lungs. The only way to prevent this and protect the patient’s lungs is to place a tube in his airway and then place them on the ventilator.

 

  1. Myth: Patients can be kept alive by placing on the ventilator:

General masses  have a feeling that patient can be kept alive by keeping them on the ventilator. Even  a dead person can be kept alive by placing on the ventilator, which is not true.

In reality:  It is machine used only for breathing and not heart and brain.

  1. Myth : Ventilating the dead patients:

    this is a common allegation on medical profession.  This is no truth in this projected and perceived hearsay.

       Facts: Assumptions are based on thoughts of lay persons. Patients on ventilator, may look like dead, because of the disease, sedation and paralyzed by drugs. But their heart and brain are working, so they can not be declared dead.

    If there is some incident, it  needs to be proved by medical personnel. In reality, it can  be a very rare and remote  exception. These untrue projection are creating lots of mistrust about life saving machine.

The problem is about correct projection and  majority of people without  knowledge of medical science  do not  even  know the large  number of lives  been saved by the ventilators.

In nutshell: serious conditions  and life threatening situations need higher technical interventions, to save a life. If correct projections are made, ventilators are life saving machines.

About ventilator

History of ventilator

Pay millions to be a doctor?: welcome to “ring on fire” #NEET


Being a doctor has become a disadvantage in itself, thanks to our media and celebrities projecting the saviors  in bad light. They are now seen as harbingers of death. Morale of doctors has been at rock bottom and community is devastated.  A society that believes more in fairy tales told by “Reel heroes” has turned prejudiced and preposterous towards “Real  heroes”.  The medical profession reeks of desperation and desolation with apathy from government, indifference from courts and silence of human right commission to salvage them from decrepit state. At the best, they have been reduced to punching bags and scape-goats for inept medical systems or cheap labour to industry.

Problems faced by doctors are not only innumerable but are also so exceedingly complex and diverse that they are difficult to be analysed. It is common to listen doctors discussing these problems whenever one of these crop up. If so many doctors feel so disgusted about the entire system that they do not encourage their children to take up this profession which until now was one of the coveted ones, there must be something going terribly wrong with the profession. The challenges in this profession are too many and difficult to analyse.
  1.     Medical courses are Comparatively lengthy and expansive study course and difficult training with slave like duties: that I have discussed in one of my previous article on “enslavement of doctors”.
  2. Uncertain future for aspiring doctors at time of training: Nowadays, doing just MBBS is not enough and it is important to specialize. Because of lesser seats in post graduation, poor regulation of medical education, uneven criteria, ultimately very few people get the branch and college of their choice. They have to just flow with system ultimately.
 3. Hostile environment for doctors to begin: Suddenly young, meritorious and bright children who came out of training find themselves working in a hostile environment, at the receiving end of public wrath, law, media for reasons they can’t fathom. They face continuous negative publicity, poor infrastructure and prejudiced  beliefs of society.

  1. Difficult start of career of doctors: After a difficult time at medical college, an unsettled family life and with no money, these brilliant doctors begin their struggle. Even before they start earning a penny, the society already has its preconceived notions because of negative media publicity and half treats them as cheats and dishonest. Their work is seen with suspicion and often criticized.
    5.The fear and anxiety about the actual treatment,  favorable and unfavorable prognosis of patient, keeps mind of a doctor occupied.
    6. Doctors are blamed for all malaise:The society gets biased because of the media reports and some celebrity talking glib without proper understanding of inept medical system , administrative failure and complexity of medical industry.  These lead to formation of generalized sentiment against all doctors and are then unfortunately blamed for all the malaise in the entire healthcare system.
    7.Doctor’s personal and family life suffers: Large number of patients with lesser number of doctors is a cause of difficult working circumstances, and the frequent odd hour duties have a very negative impact on the family and personal life of the doctor.
    8.Risk to doctor himself:     Repeated exposure to infected patients in addition to long work hours without proper meals make them prone to certain health hazards, like infections which commonly include tuberculosis and other bacterial and viral illnesses. Radiologists and interventionists get radiation exposure. Because of difficult working conditions, some doctors are prone to depression, anxiety and may start on substance abuse.  21 risks to doctor and nurses
    9.Unrealistic expectations of society: Every patient is not salvageable but commonly the relatives do not accept this reality. Pressure is mounted on doctor to do more while alleging that he is not working properly. Allegations of incompetency and negligence are quite common in such circumstances. These painful discussions can go to any extent and a single such relative  is enough to spoil the mood for the day.

10.Retrospective analysis of doctor’s every action continues all the life-It could be by patients and relatives every day in the form of “ Why this was not done before” ? Everyday irritating discussions, arguments, complaints, disagreements add to further pain and discontentment, in case the patient is not improving. Or it could be by courts and so many regulatory bodies. Unfortunately, if there is a lawsuit against a doctor, he will be wasting all his time with lawyers and courts, which will takes years to sort out.
In these court cases, the doctor is at disadvantage since his decision which is now being questioned was taken at that time in good faith using all his wisdom. The decision in retrospect may not turn out to be the best one, but later retrospective analysis along with wisdom of hindsight over many years, may label it as faulty if a fault-finding approach is used. This along with general sentiment and sympathy with sufferer makes medical profession a sitting duck for punishments and lawsuits. Even if the doctor is proved to be not guilty, his harassment and tarnishing of reputation will be full and almost permanent. No doctor has time to pursue such things all the time. Even if such events don’t happen to everyone, the very fear of such possible scenarios and their possible complications always lurks in the back of their mind.
11. Physical assault , routine instances of verbal abuse and threat  happen for no fault of theirs. Many become punching bags for the inept medical system and invisible medical industry. The threat of physical assault is quite real as well. Recently, even female doctors have not been spared by mobs. Silence of prominent social people, celebrities and society icons on this issue is a pointer towards increasingly uncivilized mindset of society.  Even female doctors  are being assaulted.
12. Medical industry may be rich but not the doctors: The belief that doctor’s is a rich community, is not correct. Although decent or average earnings may be there, but earnings of most doctors is still not commiserate with their hard work viz-a-viz other professions. Doctors who also work like investor, a manager or collaborate with industry may be richer. But definitely most of doctors who are just doing medical care are not really rich.
13. Windfall profits for lawyers and law industry at the cost of doctors is a disadvantage for medical profession: I have seen zero fee and fixed commission ads on television by lawyers in health systems in certain developed countries. They lure patients to file law suits and promise them hefty reimbursements. There is no dearth of such relatives, lawyers who are ready to try their luck, sometimes in vengeance and sometimes for lure of money received in compensations. This encouragement and instigation of lawsuit against doctors is a major disadvantage for medical profession.

14.Overall, a complex scenario for doctors: There is increasing discontentment among doctors because of this complex and punishing system. They are bound by so many factors that they finally end up at the receiving end all the time. They are under Hippocratic oath and therefore expected to work with very high morality, goodwill and kindness for the sufferings of mankind and dying patients. They are also supposed to maintain meticulous documentation and also supposed to work under norms of medical industry. They are supposed to see disproportionately large number of patients with fewer staff and nursing support while still giving excellent care in these circumstances. And if these were not enough, the fear of courts and medico-legal cases, verbal threats, abuses, and physical assaults and show of distrust by patient and relatives further makes working difficult. Additionally there may be bullying by certain administrative systems at places, who use pressure tactics to get their own way.

With so many adversaries, the situation is like sailing a small boat in a tornado.
At present, with this mind-set, the losers are the doctors and medical profession. But the society should be able to foresee its overall loss in the long run if these practices continue.

 

Silence of  REEL Heroes: #Aamir-Khan, when REAL Heroes  #doctor/nurses are thrashed #NRS-Hospital


                    When  examples of stray incidents were portrayed as general phenomenon on television and a great mistrust was created, the existing gap further  widened between  doctor – patient, the REEL hero #Aamir-khan got a great applause. Society believed  and trusted  the stars, who entertained , enacted stories and danced to make them happy, keeping them entertained. Masses believed easily, what  Reel hero, while entertaining  told them and not trusted the doctor, who was awake at nights to save their  lives. REEL heroes earned name,  fame and money  by unilateral poor projection of doctors in filmy stories, right or wrong or just stray incidents. Larger good work and hard work of doctors was of no consideration. Sad  era for medical profession, where reel heroes, who merely act are trusted more than real doers. Now when doctors are being nearly killed, just because  for being on the bedside of patients, the silence of REEL Heroes,  proves the  hollow applause, they have generated for themselves.

 NRS hospital 

Reblogged: #Soldier/Nurse/doctor vs Filmy superstar: Reel Heroes or Real Heroes. 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  ke   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”.

Working night shifts (#doctor&Nurses) may cause DNA damage, risk of cancer & Heart diseases


        Medical profession getting stressful is nothing new.  There are multiple dimensions to  the multi-pronged stress in present  era.  A new dimension has been discovered. Night shift are integral part of a hospital, doctors and nurses life. But it has shown to be having far reaching consequences. Night shifts have been linked to DNA damage and more serious illnesses.   If these kind of effects prove to be correct in future, it  needs a serious thinking over the issue.

    Researchers found that on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site had lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than those who did not work overnight.

Working night shifts can damage a person’s DNA, increasing the risk of cancer as well as cardiovascular, metabolic, and neuro-degenerative diseases, a study has found. For the study published in the journal Anaesthesia, researchers analysed blood samples of 49 healthy full-time doctors taken at different times.

“Although this work is very preliminary, it is clear from the results that even a single night of sleep deprivation can trigger events that may contribute to the development of chronic disease,” said Siu-Wai Choi, of the University of Hong Kong.

Researchers found that on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site had lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than those who did not work overnight. In these overnight on-site call doctors, DNA repair gene expression decreased and DNA breaks increased after sleep deprivation.

Damaged DNA increased after only one night of sleep deprivation. This DNA damage may help explain the increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases associated with sleep deprivation, researchers said.

Millions of preventable disease deaths: whose moral burden is it?


Diseases can be  preventable or unpreventable, have  good  or  bad prognosis. But once patient  enters hospital,  what ever may be the reason or genesis of ailment, it becomes a moral responsibility of doctors.  Health care professionals  can be trash-talked   or ridiculed by media and anyone, even for worst prognostic cases.   But  large numbers of deaths   happen  due to preventable causes like accidents , drains, live electric wires, water contamination, dengue, malaria, recurring floods  etc. In fact the burden of   negligence here is massive and  these deaths are unpardonable.   Who ultimately carries the moral burden of millions of  preventable deaths?

Common causes of  such  disease, sufferings  and death , specially in developing and poor countries:

  1. Dietary risks and diseases spread by  water sanitation and hygiene.   These  have  direct  linked with bad sanitation and poor hygiene practices. Poor sanitation is the leading cause of diarrhea, malnutrition, cholera, jaundice ( hepatitis A and E) , worm infestations, typhoid and other enteric fevers, which lead to chronic malnutrition and lowered immunity that further feed the infectious disease cycle.  Apart from infectious disease like diarrhea, but also pneumonia and tuberculosis, which are leading killers across all age groups.
  2. Undernourishment in   children  will cause them to be  underweight, stunted and wasted, and makes them  more vulnerable to infections. They are at higher risk of dying of childhood infections.

Working sewage-disposal systems, waste disposal management, protection of water supply from contamination and hand-washing practices are essential components to reduce preventable deaths.

  1. Poor sanitation, unsafe water and low public health also increase drug-resistant infections in low-income and middle-income countries. Lowering of antibiotic consumption  can not be achieved  because superbugs ,  and antibiotic resistance  are already in the environment and continue to spread through contaminated food, water and hospital equipment.

Antibiotics overuse is rampant as they are  used to treat diarrhea and upper respiratory tract infections. Improving sanitation, providing clean water, adopting personal hygiene and getting vaccinated can reduce infections.

  1. Air pollution : air pollution is a public health crisis.  Masses are forced to breathe in air which  contains pollutants  in  unsafe limits, some are carcinogenic. It  is a cause of  millions of deaths  It is besides many fold of this number live their life with morbidity. Polluting vehicles, industry, lesser trees and plantations, poor practices and not enough governance and policies have resulted in poisonous air to breathe. Diseases like COPD, asthma and lung cancer are few common ailments.
  2. A::Dog bite (rabies ), Animal poop and Human – animal interface:   Not properly disposed  animal poop is a  cause of generation of infections and diseases, requiring heavy use of antibiotics and consequently leads to emergence of further antibiotic resistance bacteria. This cycle of production of infections and use of antibiotics perpetuates a vicious cycle.  Stray animals still defecate at every place.  Poop of Stray dogs, cattle and pigs stays in environment and causes life threatening infections. Hundreds of diseases are described due to poor control of human animal interface.

But stray animals and dogs are everywhere. Owner of pet dogs make them defecate outside their own houses and on the roads and wherever their dogs chooses. This poop dried and mixed with dust, acts a source of infection to the community.

         B::   Life threatening infections : dog’s and animal faeces is a big health hazard. It is even worse than a dog bite since it spreads infection in entire community. Animal faeces contain pathogens, which are known to cause severe diseases, infections and organ failure. Many diseases may be spread by millions of these dogs and other animals like pigs, cattle as their faeces contain parasites, bacteria and viruses. These include life threatening bacterial infections by E. coli, MRSA, Leptospira, Salmonellosis, Campylobacteriosis, brucellosis, Rickettsia and parasitic infections like  Giardiasis, Whipworm, Hookworm, Roundworms, Tapeworms,    Cryptosporidiosis, Echinococcosis, Leishmaniasis etc. Viral infections like rabies, influenza and other viruses may also spread through these animals.

               C:: Environmental health Hazard: Storm water runoff due to extensive rainfall can wash off all these droppings into drains, many of which are connected to river systems and water sources.  This can lead to a widespread source of waterborne illnesses. Dry  poop on the roads is mixed with dust particles and in the air. So everyone is living in a highly infectious environment.

6.     Mosquito borne diseases: millions die because of vector borne disease , as mosquito control  has been inadequate.  Malaria, dengue,  chickengunya  and many other lethal  diseases spread  due to mosquitoes.

 

7.      Preventable natural disasters exacerbated by human activity: floods, famine, disease outbreaks.

8.      Road, rail  accidents and other accidents: are mostly  preventable errors.

         The role of health care professionals in present day circumstances remains misunderstood and underappreciated, as they assume the responsibility for continuous care of the sick or injured. People who have never treated a patient  in their life time influence health policies, which effects  millions. Excessive preventable deaths are  just a symptoms of a larger problem.  Who  is the one who feels moral burden of millions of preventable deaths?

     .

 

Women doctor and nurses more prone to work–life imbalance


 

Being a health provider  is a tough and stressful job. In any hospital, work goes on during  day and night. Rather many times nights are more heavy and challenging. The systems at odd hours are run by doctors and nurses. Continuous requirement to do odd time shifts, hard training and work demands tend to affect the overall work-life balance of doctors and nurses.

For women, it is particularly more stressful. As at some stage of life, both professional and personal roles become too demanding.  Expectation at both fronts is guided by the idea of perfection. Perception of deviation from the ideal or little imperfection   can lead to sense of aversion, linked to  average performance for them.  If they try to match the ambitions, want more in career, from the partner, children, or themselves, face the real risk of burn out. The cognizance  that perfection cannot be matched or arduous to achieve, in their circumstances, is hard to be realized  at both places.   The quest and  passion of  the women doctors or nurses, to seek perfection at both places, makes them  more prone for  burnout. This  is  a consequence to  a grave exhaustion, in their bid  to balance everything.  Woman doctors and nurses, are specially  more susceptible to stress of a kind,  as most of them face the same ordeal.

Family priority:

Perception of role identity at home  is little different on  being a woman doctor/nurse.  Male doctors are in a better position to  prioritize their work duties over their family duties  in order to  provide financial support for their families. For female doctors , there is a natural tendency to  prioritize their family life.

  Inflexibility or shift working a routine:    

         The  issues will always remain, like spending long hours at work due to inflexibility, or requirement to do shift  duties , need to stay more with patient and training requirements. For females it is very common and  frequently  lead to an imbalance between work and family duties.   More  time spent at work has an direct impact    on family requirements. Sometimes  there are financial requirements of the family, for which they are forced to  negate the effect on family duties.  In such situations they are unable to successfully complete these family duties.

High career ambitions:

Higher  education leads  to ambitions for higher social recognition and better career orientation. These goals are another  reason for taking this dual stress.  In order to correct this  imbalance, many  women doctors  expose themselves to unsolicited job stress. This reflect  in lives as chronic lack of time and  leads to pressure and stress.  The mentioned stresses and strains could lead in the long term to irreversible, physical signs of wear and tear, as well as to negative effects on the human cardiovascular and immune systems.

   Prolonged and odd working hours:

In medical profession,  simply working hard is not enough anymore. To get ahead, a rigorous training, prolonged working hours are  new standards. There is very  little time left to be divided   among relationships, kids, and sleep.

 

Conflict by Perception:

The conflict of work and family is further exacerbated  by perceived deviation from being a  good worker  at  work place and  ideal mother at  home. At work  place, they are looked as less dedicated and similarly at home as well.  Lack of organizational support  for doctors/nurses is main reason for these kind of imbalance.  They are squeezed in between  pressures at work and demands at home.

Extending families:

These day, pressures are so high that  many young women doctors,  want to just stay at home and do housework without having careers. May  give up careers to have children. It strikes to young doctors as a surprise, simply how difficult it is to build a family. The learning curve of taking care of family along with professional  responsibilities is too steep. In such situations, when everything is compounded, with  workload, it becomes utterly exhaustive.

Motherhood:

Breaks taken for family requirements may be taken as red flags, by employers. Delivery and feeding child become  difficult tasks specially in clinical branches, where long duties are routine.

Motherhood needs to be squeezed in between the requirement of profession. Changes in schedule or adjustments made are perceived as “being different”.

While women are increasingly represented in the medical field, they still face challenges balancing work and home life. The frustrations manifest in  burnout and dissatisfaction within a field they once enjoyed.

also read: work-life imbalance for doctors/nurse & consequences

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: