In reply to an article in The Telegraph: Satyamev Jayate

I am surprised at the article by Kunal Sarkar ‘When the touch should heal’ on page 13 of The Telegraph dated June 5 as a reply to Amir khan‘s Satyamev Jayate.

I and my friends (none of them blind followers of Amir…) have never read such well-written rubbish! Such perverse logic garbed in beautiful rhetoric!

Firstly, Amir has never said all doctors are dishonest
Secondly, Amir has addressed the issue of shortage of Govt medical colleges in comparison to mushrooming private colleges that compromise on merit and depend on high donation/capitation fee. This is fact.

A gentleman had rightly commented during the show– why spend 50-60 lakhs to make your sons doctors?– Keep that in the bank and earn interest instead. So the actual problem lies in the system that allows such money game. We all know how these ‘poor’(=bechara) students close their loans– taking huge amount as dowry during marriage, then opening up clinics with the sole aim of earning far beyond their outstanding debts. Such money-making mindset is not likely to be present in those meritorious students who join this stream to become doctors.( We see such students in all Govt medical colleges. We have also seen good doctors sponsoring a poor but bright student of his village who cannot even pay for medical books).

We all depend on this medical system because we still feel there are many good doctors. But can we deny the fact that the more affluent among us — e.g cricketers, politicians, movie stars go abroad for treatment? Let us face the facts and not try to justify corruption. This way we can justify all wrongdoings–poorly paid policemen to govt staff — all can start begging without scruples like ‘poor hunters in the jungle’ (as described by Kunal) fending for themselves! If there is so much of ‘sacrifice’, ‘begging’ & ‘borrowing’ involved, why go for such a profession? Why get ‘drowned in debt’? One can take a loan for starting a business or investing in shares– we can understand that. But to play with people’s lives? When patients are at the receiving end, for no fault or wish of their own? Where their loss is your gain? How can anyone even try to justify this?

In fact the popular TV show has touched all the relevant points.There was no ‘slandering’ of the profession; then Dr Shetty would not have been present. Dr. Shetty highlighted one point and explained a way out. So what was NOT said about this well-known surgeon during this one-and-half hour show is immaterial.

It is shameful that anyone could justify this medical mismanagement in our country and your paper could publish this disgraceful article.
Let us join hands to change the system — to take out the ‘money’ part from basic medical facilities.

Sumitra Padmanabhan

Prisident

Humanists’ Association.

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