My letter to Fr. Lawrence, Director of St. Johns Medical college, Bangalore questioning his claims about the college at an interview by a Mangalorean daily. The interview is appended below.
Dear Fr. Lawrence,
I have a couple of queries/comments for you When you say that so far it has been ‘smooth sailing’ – It also means that you didn’t want to ‘rock the boat’ and you have let things be as ‘status quo’. Status quo and smooth sailing doesn’t always have to be the right thing, and especially in the case of St. John’s its very worrisome that you have accepted a ‘smooth sailing boat’ – Beware ‘still waters run deep’ and can hide a lot of rot and filth.
When you say ‘Quality medical education’ I really burst out laughing. What quality are you talking about Fr. Lawrence?? Medical education in your institution is linked to tertiary care, students train for tertiary care – THEY HAVE NO CONCEPT OF HEALTH, THEY HAVE NO CONCEPT OF SERVICE, THEY HAVE NO CONCEPT OF HEALING, THEY HAVE NO CONCEPT OF EQUITY. They have no love for the community.
One of your ex St. John’s graduates said these exact words ‘I care a rat’s arse about the poor in India’. If these are the graduates your Institution is bringing out, you have to seriously seriously seriously think about the quality of your Medical education. About patient care – put one of your ‘qualified’ interns into a remote rural setting and he or she will have no clue what to do – doctors from your institution who go to rural areas (if at all) learn by trial and error (on the patients). Your patient care training only prepares them to go abroad or do private practice. They are not equipped for anything else. You teach them tertiary care, but NOTHING about primary or secondary care.
Research – I think you should seriously look into the ethical quality of some of the research in your organization, especially by the ‘blue eyed boys and girls’ . When you say that benefits go to common men, I think you should re-look your statement and see if it is really true or is it just a TOKEN gesture to show that you are charitable institute. Finally let me say that if the professed founder of your organization (namely Jesus Christ) made a visit to your institution, he would be sadly disappointed and horrified at the injustice and inhumaneness being propogated at St. John’s in his name I think addressing that is what your next step should be.
“Continuous Improvement ,Key For Progress ”
Friday, 04 September 2009 18:39
By Jessie Rodrigues Daijiworld Media Network – Bangalore Bangalore, Sep 1:
Fr Lawrence D’Souza, director of St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, that covers many fields like St John’s Medical College, St John’s Medical College Hospital, St John’s College of Nursing, St John’s Institute of Health Management & Paramedical Studies, St John’s Institute of Population Health & Clinical Research completed one-year as the director of the institution on Tuesday, September 1. On the occasion, Fr Lawrence in this brief interview to Daijiworld speaks about his experience being a director of the reputed institution for the past one-year and the challenges he had to face on the job among many others.
DW: You are completing a year as the director today, how do you feel?
Fr Lawrence: The one-year has been a challenge. I had to learn certain things for the first time. I am happy that so far it has been smooth sailing. I am very thankful to God Almighty and all those who have helped me all along. We have been achieving the goals with discipline as a team. .
DW: After a year’s experience as director, now what is your vision?
Fr Lawrence: The institution has been set up for a special purpose which covers 3 main areas: 1. Quality Medical Education 2. Patient care 3. Research as per the vision of founding fathers. Doctors with heart work in these areas. People who come for treatment are our guests. Regarding research, I am happy to state that these benefits go to common men with innovative health practices. A cost effective health care, we teach them healthy life style with preventive health care, instill in the people proper sense of nutrition. I am very happy with the research institution’s progress. Working united as a team, we can reach to new heights; try to develop in all areas since in a health sector we witness constant change and updates. We have to adapt and respond to the advancements and changes.
DW: What is your next step?
Fr Lawrence: There is no particular step that I can name that I would be taking. But I believe in continuous improvement. No matter how experienced you are there is always room for improvement.