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Can we call medicine a noble profession?

By Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai

These days, whenever we look at the newspapers there are cases of negligence on the part of doctors, leading to patients` death; but the episode which I am going to tell is quite different, as it narrates about the greed of a doctor who treated my wife in a hospital.

My wife has been suffering from arthritis and she was to be admitted in a nursing home for an operation on both knees. When the formalities were about to be completed I had noticed, there were some discrepancies in bed and O.T. charges. On query, no one could clarify my doubt then I said good bye and left the nursing home. I explained and asked my (Dr) daughter at Australia about the next course of action, on which she suggested to take 2nd opinion of an another (orthopedic) doctor. A doctor of my ex. company referred my wife to an empanelled hospital near my residence. The first two-three visits the doctor did not charge anything as he came to know from my company’s doctor that he was treating a doctor’s mother.

Now the real story started. After an year’s treatment my wife was not getting any relief, the pain on both the knees, was unbearable for which the doctor suggested her to go for 05 imported steroid injections which would be costing Rs.25000/-including Rs.5000/- as hospital charges.

The first injection was administered in operation theatre with anesthesia. And it was our good luck that the rest of 04 injections were given in casualty room where I could see the doctor himself carrying the injection in a cover written in Hindi, suddenly it stroke in my mind, how come a imported injection(as doctor said) having Hindi name. I was quite vigilant and succeeded in collecting of two empty injection covers for future use as an exhibit. Those injections were manufactured and marketed by a firm at Hyderabad. This matter was reported to my son in law at Australia to take up the issue with the hospital authority as the owner of the hospital is a good friend of him. He knew the hospital medicine staff and found out from them that the injections were procured at the instance of the doctor and he would collect on the day of patients visit for injection. The cost of each injection was Rs.1500/-,not Rs. 4000/-as told by the doctor earlier. Some how the doctor came to know that I have gathered all information, since then he never looked at me at the time of payment on each occasion. Often I asked the amount at the time of payment and he kept on saying Rs.5000/-.On the day of 5th injection I demanded for the bill with proper break up which he did so; but the injections cost was written as Rs.7500/-.

The remaining amount (Rs.12000 and odd) he has shown as his charges for administering the injections which was quite exorbitant. Only one thing I reminded him was of breach of trust which he had made.

We returned home and talked to my younger daughter telephonically at Kolkata. She got annoyed and asked me to meet one of her friends, a reporter of Times, to publish the matter. If need be it would be done, I said; but let me meet the authorities first. The next day, I went and met company doctor to arrange for a meeting with the concerned director, which he did and accordingly meeting was held and I apprised him(director) of misdeeds done by the doctor and also handed over a written complain to him. He listened to me patiently and assured that proper action would be taken in due course of time. I shook hands and said bye. This matter was discussed among our colleagues at various forums; but as usual they never encouraged me, saying, nothing would happen. My inner heart was not agreeing to what they said. And today the authorities talked to me telephonically about the action taken report i.e., punishment awarded to the doctor: refund of money to patient, not attending OPD in hospital.

Is it not a good message to propagate among the masses? or share with everybody?
Now, after coming to know the whole story, can we call the medical a noble profession? It is up to you to judge.

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  1. No doubt medicine is a respectable profession but by virtue of being a Doctor no longer makes him/her noble. It is estimated that more than 50% of the drugs floating in the markets of India are fakes or spurious and Doctors are neck deep involved with illicit pharmaceutical companies and their illicit networks almost run like a mafia organization. It was good that your daughter is a Doctor and was able to guide you how to nail them but not many in your position would have been able to do that. Media spotlight on this unholy nexus of Doctor is quite low and hence awareness among Indians is also low.

    It would be interesting to know what punishment the management has awarded to Doctor because management are also part of this corruption. From your account, it seems there was a breach of trust with respect to medicines. Legally this is fraud and fraudulent doctors should be made an example.

    Just would like to let you know that issues of this kind can be brought to the attention of "Kiran Bedi" in a live talk show called "TOP CAT" she conducts for Radio Meow 104.8 FM on Thursday evening. I am not sure if the show aired in Bombay but you can reach her on the Delhi show by calling 011-43581048. She is also assisted by a legal expert who provides proper guidance and if situation warrants they provide free legal assistance.

    One can also log on to a website she owns which is as provided below in case Police refuses to file FIR.


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