Illnesses Caused Both By Self & Medical Negligence
A person is expected to take responsibility of his own health. Spouse or immediate relative or paid attendant may lessen the pressure but in actual desperate situations, Self Help and inner strength come to rescue. There has to be a desire to live, instead of resigning to fate.
Despite rise in allocation for health both at the state and central levels, sizeable sums are spent for treatment of common ailments, Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Ulcer, Backache, Migraine, Arthritis, Cancer, Constipation and so on. But till recently, we were giving scant attention to Menstrual hygiene and Psychiatric check up.
As a result, according to Dr.Paramjit Rana (Total Health, 2002), our digestive, respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, excretory, reproductive and musculo-skeletal systems continue getting impacted from time to time.
While remarkable advances keep happening in the domain of Science & Technology and new wonder drugs, namely Vaccines for treatment of Covid-19 (including Nasal) get developed in a record time, diseases don’t also reduce. Corona pandemic has shown that modern man, having drifted away from nature has invited many ills in his day today life.
Not only do we breathe polluted air,water and food stuff, especially vegetables, fruits and milk & milk products ,we and our children also have a lust for Junk food. Thus, many of the contemporary diseases are of our own making. Some of them are contracted even in hospitals and public places as during three waves of Corona.
State of unnecessary anxiety leading to depression was generally unheard of, say, thirty years ago.
What Needs To Be Done ?
We should believe, rather make it a habit to leave the comfort of bed if not before the Sun rises, at least within a few minutes of that. Remembering the Almighty may be a person’s choice but washing face & eyes gently ,followed by two glasses of water for easy bowel movement should be a daily routine. Next may follow the essential ritual of cleaning our teeth, to be succeeded by morning walk, light exercise or Yoga.
Students are expected to study before sunrise to build their memory power, a habit disappearing fast.
Some may like to take warm or cool water baths, depending upon weather prior to having a feel of fresh air.
On holidays there is no harm in getting up late but the same should not be later than 8 a.m. or else valuable time to recapitulate the immediate assignments may be lost.
In many houses growing up children are found glued to computers till early morning leading to inordinate delay in getting up. Parents often feel helpless.
Why A Doctor Is Needed ?
A question may arise if we all act in an orderly manner , do we need a Doctor ?
Doctor-patient relationship is both a matter of service and contract .When approached, the former owes a duty to explain the facts relating to an ailment and its cure mechanism.As one of the oldest professions, there is no better service than medical profession to serve the sick, injured or suffering.
Moral values as also professional ethics guide and regulate the relationship in which there should be no scope for caste, race, religion or social standing based discrimination.
If there are duties laid out for a Code of Conduct for the doctors, patients and their attendants are expected to behave in an orderly manner and give due regard to the practitioner.
However, it is also a fact that free or subsidized treatment in a Welfare set up mostly misguides the patients, leading to arguments and assaults at times at Government run clinics.It goes without saying that health centers in towns often work beyond their carrying capacity, but picture is reverse at PHCs or PHSCs, which have perpetual issues relating to availability of doctors, paramedics, medicines and emergency transport.
Situation, however, seems to have improved with the implementation of N.R.H.M. in many states.
An annual health check up has become necessary if the reality of a definite rise of life span to 64 years is some indication.
If we look at the health status in British India, the situation was pathetic not only due to negligence of our rulers but also due to our own Carelessness. It’s a different matter that owing to our own intake of relatively pure and uncontaminated food or food supplements, visits to doctors or natural healers would be once in a blue moon.
Domestic remedies or Grand mother’s formula tried first were expected to work, if not to work wonders.
Though diseases may be of many types, specialized medical intervention may work if diagnosis is correct and by an experienced hand.
It is also important that the workload of a Specialist should not exceed his carrying capacity even if demand may be on a higher side.
Apart from expecting a miracle from a Physician or a Surgeon, many of us get misguided also due to internet inputs as also unsolicited opinions of fellow friends or relatives.
Avoid Self Medication
Self medication or self-dropping of a few doses may appear to be tempting at a certain stage of recovery but it may not be an opportune time to give up.
Very often we are fond of not only talking of side effects but also feeling the same if some other ailment strikes.One needs to remember that at this stage, a qualified and hygienic test is very much called for.
That brings us to the question of Self measuring of blood pressure or blood sugar.It is felt that in emergencies these can be resorted to but once something unusual comes to notice, treatment thereof, should be the responsibility of the Physician.
Also the conduct or considerate approach of a doctor should be to listen to the issues patiently, rather than prescribing something, based on usual practice.
All said and done, if a patient has a recent Biochemical or Haematological report ,the same should be believed rather than insisting on another report as per physician’s own choice.Many illnesses get aggravated due to it. Some may lose their life also if the element of seriousness gets overlooked due to the Rush factor.
There can be arguments and counter arguments on the issue of medical negligence but investment in terms of both faith and money cannot be undermined.
Another issue that needs attention is that we tend to rush to a Speciality or a Referral set up upon hearing its name from others, mostly based on their experiences.But element of abnormality in anatomy differs from person to person. Long and undesirable wait in such places ,therefore, often leads to loss of life.
Cases of accidents too throng every hospital anytime.It may be remembered that sometimes , an accident happens due to our own mistakes or oversight.Blaming a doctor for any negligence due to loss of crucial Golden Hour should not be fair. How we carry an injured person from a busy road or an isolated place subsequent to a fall, is very important.
Adequate and timely First Aid prevents blood loss and boosts the level of confidence of the victim which may facilitate recovery.
Further, in such cases, it should be the duty of a Gynaecologist to encourage and mentally prepare a patient for a non-caesarian section, as far as possible. If the same is needed even late at night , it should be ensured. Those belonging to poor and marginal sections should get preference.
As such, rarely wealthy persons check into a Government facility for delivery.So logically speaking, deliveries should be a flawless exercise and ambulances have to be in a state of readiness rather than being utilized for non medical purposes or for bringing supplies.
There is no end to talking about this essential human duty. It is never an intention of the doctors or nurses to wilfully cause a situation but these may also happen, sometimes ,due to our own oversight or negligence.
Blaming the Angels in white uniforms is not desirable.
We need to also take adequate care and responsibility according to changes in weather.No therapy can ensure a total cure.We should attempt to use best of all the therapies.
When conditions ,such as ,Heart attack, detachment of Retina or apparent loss of sight, irregularity in Kidney functioning, delivery cases, accidents needing orthopaedic attention and other emergencies occur, there is no alternative to Allopathy.Doctors not only have to be Trusted, but they, should also express Regrets if an act of negligence or callousness has caused a loss of life.
While doctors should not forget their Hippocratic Oath, the attendants should also show a restrained behaviour in hospitals, as acts of misbehaviour and attack on doctors are increasing.
To sum up, it may be appropriate to quote Dr.P.D.Shenoy, a distinguished Civil Servant of Karnataka from his masterly book “Medical Negligence” (2013).
“……………….medical profession has been a noble profession.Relationship between a patient and his family doctor was one of trust and confidence on the part of patient and one of care and concern on part of doctor. Disappearance of the concept of family doctor and growth of super speciality hospitals has totally changed the old relationship, based on long term association and trust.”
(The author is former Chief Secretary, Sikkim)