The Oxygen Allergy
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Read the news of a doctor being brutally beaten up again. Both the things sadden the soul: the death of a patient, and the suffering and irreversible loss of an eye of a young doctor. But what hurts most is the shameless absence of reactions from the political giants, elite ones in and out of the profession who otherwise burn the social media with philosophy about wisdom, Indian Culture, and improving medical practice. The inadequate standing up of the medical bodies also adds gloom to the big picture: the organisations which should bring the medical care to a standstill, not as a punishment to someone, but as a desperate stand for survival and security have only been able to generate a lukewarm response.
Where are those who write that the whole medical profession is corrupt? Why haven’t those who added to the social poisons speaking about how people act and react to doctors, especially the young dynamic ones dealing with emergencies at the forefront, beaten up, disabled and scarred for life because they chose to serve the very people who do not have enough brains to understand that the doctor was trying to help? © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
A boy of 15 is given a sports bike by parents. No helmet. Drives rash. Traffic control not adequate. Indisciplined traffic. The boy has an unfortunate accident. Lies bleeding on the spot for over an hour, people don’t even stop to help. No services for such victims to be taken to hospital on priority. Brought to casualty late. Doctors try their best. Unfortunately, the victim dies.
The doctor is beaten up. Not the parents who allowed him a bike without proper training, without helmet, not the indisciplined traffickers, not the traffic control systems, not the onlookers who did not help him in time, not the administration which fails to make ambulances available on priority for traffic accidents. Only the doctor who was helping out is beaten up.
The media, most politicians, the social elites, the police, the judiciary, the Netas or the administration: no one cares to speak against this unfair treatment of doctors, and such is the condition all over India.
Even the many seniormost doctors who have great social and governmental influence seem to be too preoccupied to stand for their junior generations. The real tragedy is those senior doctors who continue to sermon junior doctors to “communicate well” with angry, illiterate patients and relatives, themselves hiding from the ground zero. Some senior doctors also appear to take pride in projecting the junior doctors faulty / guilty, in a pathetic attempt to appear taller than they really are. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
The mandate is clear: the junior doctors, especially the emergency / casualty and critical care service providing younger doctors should now form their own dynamic organization, make rules for proper patient care and communication, follow them, and at the same time form a countrywide network to stop functioning in case any doctor is beaten up anywhere in India. The existing associations have failed to achieve that. The administrations should know that ESMA can only be invoked when they can guarantee protection of the staff involved. One cannot force a doctor to risk life at the hands of a violent mob, under the threat of ESMA. The same courts which enforce availability of a doctor for every emergency must also ensure the protection of every such doctor.
It is common Indian knowledge that our society is too mannerless to understand the language of decency. People pee under the notices of where not to pee, and enjoy the movie scenes showing that. In the famous scene from that movie “Yashwant”, the good Inspector feeds the criminal and asks politely if he has committed the crime, but the criminal accepts it only after he is threatened and slapped. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
If someone thinks that the language of silent protests, black bands, signature campaigns (btw, are there still people among us who do not understand the scams in such campaigns?) will work, they should rethink. The only thing that will be understood is shutdown of all medical services at least in the region / state where violence against doctors is not proactively prevented or punished.
Next time one hears a leader / politico / minister advising high handedly to doctors about their duties, about social service, whichever the platform, please muster enough courage to stand up and ask them about their actions in cases of violence against doctors.
It is said that a human being cannot have allergy to oxygen, as it is essential for life. Some elements in our society are starting to cultivate an anti-doctor sentiment. That will be as stupid as cultivating an allergy to oxygen. Without doctors, how does the society expect to have medical care so essential? What will beating up doctors achieve? What is law meant for?
We have come a long way proving our merit. It is high time we prove our unity and strength. This will happen only if junior doctors form a strong association.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Please share unedited