Overuse of Antibiotics: Wrong analysis # Rebuttal Times of India

     The Times of India today   carries an editorial by Mr Sandeep Bansal on over prescription of antibiotics. Although there are few points which may be correct, but the article fails to highlight the basic reasons for the problem, which it was supposed to address.

    The reason for failure to find the correct reasons can be the distant analysis. Someone working in London and trying to analyse the grass root problem of India may not be a perfect idea. People need to work at ground level to identify the real issues. Otherwise the analysis remains half-baked and gives a glimpse  of the bias, which celebrities use commonly for gaining popularity by finding faults of doctors.


     The overall picture has to be understood to identify real reasons and hence the proper solution to the problem. The correct steps taken would settle the issue; otherwise the analytical article would   just remain a piece of paper and an matter of discussions for Arm chair preachers.

over prescription of antibiotics

   The author failed to highlight the factors like easy availability of antibiotics. People can directly approach pharmacist and get whatever antibiotic they want.  Pharmacist can sell whatever brand, doses and kind of antibiotic. The uncountable quacks, doctors of alternate medicines use all kind of antibiotics with impunity. Tons of antibiotics are consumed without any proper medical advice. Self-medication by people themselves, as it is easily available can’t be ignored as an important cause.  

       The reasons written by the author in TOI, actually constitute a minuscule fraction (5-10%), as far as use of antibiotics is concerned. By writing imperfect article, without knowing actual problems by a distant analysis, such article provides real misguidance rather than actual solutions to the problems.

         Someone to do justice to such complex and important issues, one has to work at the place and be aware about real issues and ground problems. Otherwise it just remains a method to gain cheap popularity.

   Sadly, in present era, people who do not treat patients,  are away from  truth, but they can influence the treatment of thousands of patients  just by doing an ‘On Table’ analysis.

        Wrong analysis, hence incorrect conclusions can lead to wrong decisions.

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An example-How word twisting by media blames doctors for administrative failure, makes them scapegoats

Just look at the heading “ Doctor ambulances rushed to fight disease only when the spotlight’s on it”

This is just an example how real issues of administrative failure are made to look as doctor’s fault by clever word twisting by media. A Heading in “Times of India” gives an impression that doctors did not respond to encephalitis cases early and did so after spot light of media. Whereas content of news item correctly putforth the administrative issues. An application of average wisdom will always misinterpret it as doctor’s fault. No doctor will be able to leave his place of work without an administrative order.

Now issue comes whether such word twisting is deliberate or just a mild error, or just an ignorance about working of medical system. It is hard to believe that national daily like Times of India is ignorant about the working of medical system. It is a simple fact that no doctor by himself can leave his work place or patients, to visit Bihar. It will always a administrative decision to send them, if some crisis is there.

Such language errors are also not expected from such highly esteemed newspaper.

Are these word twisting a deliberate attempt to sway public opinion, so as to camouflage administrative failure. By an average wisdom, using such language, buck stops on the doctor. No one even thinks about the large and powerful administration and health industry, which has decisive powers but remains invisible. Media by making such carefully worded headlines keeps that veil intact for the powerful administration.

Similar or even more word twisting has become common blaming doctors. But sadly in the process doctors are made scape- goats and always bear the brunt of public ire.

This is just an example, how innocuous looking word twisting can shift blame to doctors, whereas in reality these are administrative failures.

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