Doctors have long since moved from the realms of godliness and humaneness to a cut-throat competitiveness for power, money and position. To be ill in current times when one is poor amounts to nothing more than gross stupidity. Only a very, very stupid poor person would fall ill in our current health scenario.
Apart from being poor, if one is also uneducated and on a lower rung of the very integral and structural class and caste system, then one is not just stupid but crazy, to fall ill.
If with all this, one is also a woman, then certainly legal sanctions should be placed against such a person ever falling ill.
Poor sick patients are a nightmare to our current medical practitioners. They are hard to ignore and a drain on the doctor’s resources. The doctor is in a pitiful situation if, after years of struggling at becoming a doctor and a post-graduate, he or she finally has to deal with a group of people who cannot pay. Should a doctor go on a moral path when bills have to be paid, children have to be educated, social status has to be attained, life’s conveniences obtained, savings made and a secure future ensured? Should a doctor sacrifice all and cater to a group of people who don’t pay anyway?
When IT professionals, engineers and architects are communicating, developing and constructing newer systems of income generation, doctors are indeed in a sorry position of having moral responsibilities when after all at the end of the day – they are just human beings.
Where does that leave our health system? Health is a commodity that can be procured by the highest bidder. Health should cease to be a human right. There should be a clause in our Constitution that no one can demand health as a human right because our country cannot afford to, given the mind-set of our current doctors.
But, then there may just be an alternative. Maybe the doctors are being chosen incorrectly. What if –out of a thousand bright young graduates, only those were chosen who had an interest in improving health. Not those who can pay or use influence or acquire the degree as a personal tiara or halo, but rather those who, through some genetic or environmental dysfunction, actually believe that there is more to the world than themselves and their needs, who possess by some quirk of nature, an altruistic personality that looks at the world and seeks to plug gaps themselves. This might just work.
Logistically however, if this worked, it would mean the end of most of our Medical colleges. What on earthy would most of our Medical colleges do with dedicated students who want to improve health? They would require to revamp their entire training system. They would have to terminate all those lecturers who talk about their subjects completely delinked with any human system. Physiology would cease to be graphs, frogs, tissues and electrodes. Biochemistry would actually have to relate with human beings rather than test tubes, Bunsen burners and foul smelling reagents, pathology would no more be a series of tissue samples……….. Many of the lecturers would have to be sent home.
Apart from this, the doctors paying capacity would not be a deciding factor for him or her to join the Medical college. How would colleges support themselves if they couldn’t charge a fat fee? Deans, Associate directors and Principals of Medical colleges could no longer strut around feeling proud owners of ivory towers where health and people are last on the list, but rather examinations, attendance and paying abilities. This might lead to Medical colleges closing down completely which serves nobody any purpose.
Similarly, what would pharmaceutical companies do? They would have to shut down and go away. They would have to deal with a new word in their vocabulary –ETHICS. This itself would send many of them into alternate businesses. Many of them would consider the possibility of consultancy in such fine arts as ‘How to squeeze the last remaining droplets of a patient’s hope and life once the doctors are done with them’ or ‘ The art of collaborating with corrupt doctors who have sold their souls to the devil while believing that one serves someone other than themselves’
This consultancy could probably come in handy in some businesses, but is unlikely to gain as much of a hold in professions other than medicine. This might lead them to fund research to demonstrate that the original system of medicine was best and that strong lobbying should revert altruistic motives to purely personal ones.
So why bother……….. One could choose to get into an economic bracket that affords health, or not be stupid enough to fall ill. One can be sick and rich, or poor and healthy, not ever sick and poor in our country. But who listens anyway……………………..