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Nearly 80 whistleblowers who have come together against unethical practices will now encourage more doctors to join the movement
A large number of doctors came together on Friday to formulate plans for a network which will work to achieve a rational, ethical and decommercialised medical fraternity. They have also decided to ask for regulation of doctors.
This was decided during the launch of a book in which doctors have shared their experiences about corruption that is prevailing in their profession. A total of 78 doctors from across the country have contributed to the book, named “Voices of Conscience from the Medical Profession”. It is believed that many astonishing facts have surfaced in the book that was released at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
For example, Rajendra Malose, a general practitioner at Chandvad in Nasik district has shared his experience and revealed that dead patients continue to be kept on ventilators until the anger of their relatives cools off. He further writes that it is very common to find “doctors’ parties with discussions about how a certain ‘lamb’ was caught and slaughtered.” Responses like “it is slack season now” are equally common in such parties, says the doctor.
But a new development, according to author Arun Gadre, is that the medical fraternity now accepts the disease. It is no more in a denial mode. This is the first step for cure. Only after admitting that he or she is sick, a patient will demand a treatment. Sharing his own story about ideation of the book, the doctor who runs a small hospital in a rural area of the country says a few years ago, he realised that the number of patients visiting his hospital has fallen drastically. When he tried to find a reason for the same, he found that local doctors are referring patients to big hospitals that are located far away from their villages.
The patients were made to travel 100 to 150 kilometres only to make money. This was happening when several hospitals and doctors were available within hardly two to three kilometres of distance. ‘It disturbed me to see how people are suffering,” he says, adding that he thereafter contacted SATHI, a non profit working for the cause of health. That is when Abhay Shukla of SATHI and Gadre together decided to bring other doctors on board to share their experience.
Gadre informs that all 78 doctors were easy to access because they were approached through a network. “I am confident there must be many more who are resistant to unethical practices in medical profession,” he adds.
Abhay Shukla said that the book is a first step in this direction. Now, the doctors who are not willing to participate in wrong practices will be requested to join the network which will counter those doctors’ associations that are not ready for the regulation.