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KPME Bill: Why doctors should not suspend services




 

 

 

 

 

By William Pais

Mangaluru, Nov 18: "I cannot allow him to die, I will do what I can do and see that he survives" - these were the words said by the one of the leading oncologist of the Mangaluru city as my friend was approaching his death. The medical profession is all about giving positive outlook when there is none. As a professional, I respect the word of this oncologist. I believe the underlining idea of positive statement keeps the physican’s going, to walk that extra mile in every case of distress.

"The health and well-being of my patient will be my first consideration", "I will respect the autonomy and dignity of my patient" - these are two sentences of the physician’s oath. The job of the physician is above that of government and legislation. It reigns supreme in the hierarchy of professions for it values human life with utmost dignity. That the consideration of the present will not daunt the noble ideals of the profession, that have been built over generations of doctors.

I have reason to put this into public domain, as I get disturbed with the way in which medical professionals took to the streets reportedly over Karnataka government’s efforts to enact the law to the advantage of the patients. I believe government is well within it mandate to enact such a law which is long overdue. I even shudder to think for a moment what if the milkman and the paperman do not drop the milk and the paper at my doorsteps in the morning, how daily life is deranged. Our life is always and always dependent on others. In fact our life revolves around others and we are more dependent on doctors who give a new lease of life when we almost drop dead. It is precisely for this reason being a medical professional is divine and sacrosanct and that cannot equated to that of any other profession. Rightly so in Indian system of medicine - Ayurveda - a physician treated as divine saying 'Vidyo Narayana Hari' and the bond between patient and physicians is built on love and trust and it is with this trust a patient bears himself on the operation table, trusting the hand that will treat them.

Now coming back to the real problem of the government enacting the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, it may have some provisions that look draconian to the offenders. It is the duty of the government to enact legislation to better the welfare of the citizens. Time to time the government of the day deems it to fit enact such laws. It is commonplace to find little inconveniences whenever any law is enforced. For example, the entire country was put to great hardship when demonetisation was announced and people chose to bear it for the betterment of the nation. If the government of the day thinks that the bill works for the betterment of the majority, doctors should allow it to be passed of course with enough room to express their fears. They are free to express their apprehensions, take legal recourse as to the validity of the law but to hold the entire system to ransom does not augur well for the profession that has been respected from time immemorial. Doctors should have an aerial view of the entire thing and not put the community to which they belong to hardship. At the time of strike if doctors fall sick (pray they should not) will the other doctors not treat them? There is a doctor in all of us that awakes each time a person around falls sick or is in trauma. It runs, panics, and prescribes some solution however possible and it proves that, we cannot see suffering of our fellow being. This spirit should never be allowed to die, lest our faith in humanity erodes. Let the whole world be corrupt but doctors shall not be corrupt.

'Draconian' said H N Ravindra, the president of the Indian Medical Association - Karnataka, I would say draconian is not the law but the fact that doctors went on strike was draconian, and this will be vouched by the family of the deceased who did not get enough medical care they deserved. It will be in the interest of all, that doctors shall not resort to suspension of services but have other means to express their dissent. The same law enacted by the government also protects the doctors in case any mishaps takes place in the hospital due to disgruntled patients and their relatives. If you follow the law, the law will protect you. I wish doctors always remain true to the saying 'Vaidyo Narayana Hari'. To be divine is to be in the company of the divine and no reward can replace the satisfaction of seeing a smile on the healed patient who was brought fragile and sinking. "Doctors we love you and we simply cannot do without you, help us when we fall sick and also help us when we drop dead, for you only will have to confirm we are really dead".

 

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Comment on this article

  • Sandy, Udupi

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers or for that matter, any professionals that a society gets will only be a mirror to the society. It is naive to believe that only professional education will make a person to behave as a sort of moral beacon in the midst of an unjust society. Ethics and humanity are not a one way street. If a professional community is persistently subjected to violence and ingratitude from the society with no redressal, it is difficult for that community to be passive and humane. And a local Khap panchayat justice system outside the court for complaints against only medical profession is rubbing salt into the wounds. If the courts are slow, why should doctors alone have a extralegal system for grievance redressal.
    There is this oft repeated comment that people who want to make money should not join medicine. But the society around you only celebrates money, Besides a student who joins the medical profession at 18 years of age really has no idea of what this career entails. If he knew of what the society expects out of him, he would never join the profession. It is often the parents who strongly influence their children on career choices. How many parents here will say truthfully that they wanted their ward to be a doctor so that they can serve the society. Ironically, it is during the student period, that doctors are most service minded as there are no societal pressures. Once they start their career, they realise day by day what kind of society they face and gradually become hardened in order to survive.
    This "Vaidyo nararyana hari" and such other nobility notions are given to them as a cloak so as to extort free or cheap treatment, What do you do when a patient comes in his own car, thick gold chains and then flash a BPL card. Nobility doesnt feed the doctor's children. It is unfortunate that the doctors have to earn their bread through somebody else's misery. But that is the truth and just like any other profession, quality comes at a price.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr.Shankaranarayan, Mangaluru/Abu Dhabi

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Twist in the Tale... 🤞
    It's the victory of the government . It appears to be well thought out political strategy.
    With single bill they achieved many goals.
    1. They successfully diverted media, public, and opposition attention away from its failures.
    2. They didn't give opposition an opportunity to raise major issues like corruption, tippu birthday and George resignation.
    3. They would have cleared a lot of pending controversial projects to make money to fund karnataka and Gujarat elections.
    4. They gained public sympathy by making doctors villains.
    5. They created a new system to collect funds from doctors.
    6. They could have done it much earlier if they were really pro poor. It's not about people but power.
    7. It's brilliantly timed before next election and in the last session.
    8. They used us to achieve their goals by pushing us on roads.
    9. They are experienced politicians they purposefully introduced the contentious clauses to provoke us.
    10. Anything is fair in politics.
    They said you are thieves and we protested then eventually they say yes you are not thieves then we claim victory.🤣😂🤡

    DisAgree [14] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    nevertheless after few years doctors will stay out doors & call patients come, come, v have big discount.ಬಲೆ, ಬಲೆ ಮುಲ್ಪ ಡಿಸ್ಕೌಂಟ್ ಉಂಡು.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Don, Mangalore

    Sun, Nov 19 2017

    Like in the West there are essential services and non essential services and doctors definitely fall under essential service. The Government should have an independent ombudsman who would look impartially into the grievances of all sides while ensuring everyone's reasonable demands are met in part or in full.

    However, if despite all of the above all negotiations fail and unjust demands are not met, then there must be back to work legislation, which would force doctors to get back to work.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Doc, just because lawyers or any other professions fleece customers does not justify a doc or corporate hospital looting patients by unethical means??

    Only few enter the medical profession with passion n a primary aim of serving patients, money automatically follows but not in tonnes; majority enter the profession for earning quick money to buy palatial houses n high end cars n store money to pay the capitation fees of their children! I question, if service to humanity is not their passion y join medicine, get admission to IIT, BITS PILANI, IIM, become a top corporate/criminal lawyer n u can the cremiest of offers n retire by 50 years n relax thereafter???

    DisAgree [4] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anurag, Mangalore

    Sun, Nov 19 2017

    do you even know how much doctors struggle for a greater part of their lives to just get "qualified"? Medical education is an expensive affair. If the government wants to help the poor in earnest, let them improve the horrible government hospitals first, before preaching modesty in consultation fees. How can they dictate terms on fees when their contribution to private hospitals is 0%? Why would anyone come to private hospitals if there were good government hospitals? This is unacceptable and indeed "draconian". Even if it ever came to pass, the whole medical system would collapse for sure. You get what you pay for. If you want quality, don't expect it to come cheap.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr Mohan Prabhu, LL.D, QC, Mangalore (Kankanady)/Ottawa, Canada

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Hospitals are essential services and cannot function if doctors go on strike. Doctors in hospitals, whether public or private, should be subject to Essential Services laws which would ban strikes en masse; there should be at a minimum enough physicians and surgeons to attend to emergencies 24 x 7, 365 days a year. If doctors resort to strike, and that results in mortality there should be a criminal prosecution. Doctors should be paid decently considering their years of training and service, but this should in the absence of negotiated settlement be imposed by an impartial arbitration or industrial court.
    A response to some commentators, doctors are not the only ones to "fleece" patients; look at the lawyers who charge by the minute and delight in adjournment of cases before courts which swells their pockets. At least, doctors don't do that; their fees may be high if patients go to private hospitals and private physicians and not to publicly funded hospitals.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joe Gonsalves, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Indeed doctors have grave obligations to people. They are LIFE SAVERS and therefore under any circumstances they cannot refrain from their duties which are THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE NOBLE PROFESSION. Whatever the grievances are ..... attempts should be made to resolve them. If they do not succeed, they should refer matter to the government and the judiciary.

    Mr. William Pais is very correct in his assessment regarding the duties of THE NOBLE PROFESSION.

    The job of the physician is above that of government and legislation. It reigns supreme in the hierarchy of professions for it values human life with utmost dignity. That the consideration of the present will not daunt the noble ideals of the profession, that have been built over generations of doctors.

    I join Mr. Pais in his appeal to The Noble Profession

    DisAgree [7] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • sharan, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    I.m repeating my view.The doctors had no options left when all talks since Months failed to convince health Minister to change that stupid " kangaroo court" provision in the bill which was the root cause of resistance.You people have only made doctors realize that there's no point in being human.There was no one for doctors except themselves..media, common man., politicians all failed to understand the bill.Each one is selfish & these responses from readers, writers will only create a bigger divide between doctor and patient..a relationship which was one of trust & compassion.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • sri_elder, Karkala

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    My opinion is that government should not disturb private doctors.
    Let the public decide whether to go to private clinic or not. If they have money let them go. If no money then don't go.

    Recently government decided to ban jyothishya, maata, mantra etc.
    But suddenly they allowed jyothishya, why?
    Let them control it. Let them make jyothishya consulting charge 25/- rupees. 😁

    DisAgree [14] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ivan Saldanha-Shet., Mangalore-Rosario.

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    In deed in a cornered situation like medical practice and ethics......there is possibly more than one right view. May be medical doctors and private hospitals are giving too much weight to advanced tests, specializations and MONEY. The humane art and concern of "Healing and Care" has taken a back seat.
    But, yes if the Karnataka Govt had made a proper study, considered the all round matters and formed a ethical and legally water tight legislation in the first place, where was the need for all this bad bllod, drama and pain to the already suffering sick? May be there is more wrong than right in the first place.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Comparing to Doctors of other states, Karnataka's Doctors are more reasonable while charging Fees.
    In city like Mumbai, Doctors loot poor people. Just for consultation , they charge Rs.1000 and above.
    Hope govt. of Karnataka will amend the law, considering both Doctors and Common Man. Also i advise Doctors , not to prescribe medicines which is not required to patients.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr.S.Kamath, Mumbai

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Doctors Cannot and should not go on strike if they are employed by Govt
    The Doctors Oath was written by Europeans where in the health services has been given by Govt free of cost to the patients and thus Doctors should never refuse to treat the patient in need and Doctors are very well paid by the govt .
    But here in Karnataka Health minister called for Interview of Doctors when they asked Salary he said we cannot give that salary .Doctors refused to work and in vengeance is brought these KPME Amendment act 2017
    A New Zealand doctor's amendment to the modern Hippocratic Oath sworn by all doctors has been adopted unanimously by the World Medical Association.
    Dr Sam Hazledine's change means doctors get to prioritise their own health alongside that of their patient.
    With this act Doctors health is in danger .If Doctor himself cannot work mentally effectively with this endangering law to put him in jail .How can he work tell me ?
    He had to resort to strike
    Any way thanks to CM who has listened to demands now let us see whether he will fulfill on Monday or not

    DisAgree [12] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Doc,
    All said n done will u agree there is rampant unethical practices going on medical industry wherein all attached to the industry r involved! How many big pharma cos sponsor leisure tours in name of some conference if one achieves the target of prescribing their drugs?? This is just one type of malpractice, no time to highlight more!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Builders lobby was having a fun time for so many years; they too have been tightened by having to compulsorily register to the RERA act; see the effects, flat rates have come down by 20-30% realistic levels, black money holders r not able to invest in more properties, many big builders r defaulting due to throttling of black money; so also, it is high time, one by one all professions resorting to unethical means should be bound under some restrictive acts to protect the interests of common citizens!!

    DisAgree [3] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    What will be the response of Government if any individual private medical practitioner decides to close down his clinic permanently and start some other business like running a restaurant or a school or a supermarket. I know many doctors are already having side business like this. They can earn more and also live without tension or fear of going to jail . Will he be allowed to stop his medical practice ? .

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    They r free to do it, but do u have any idea of the cutthroat competition in malls n restaurants in Mangluru? Moreover, medicine is a recession free industry!!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • mahesh, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Only shows that the author has not even read the earlier proposed Bill.
    Just for information, the doctors given enough notice about this.
    But siddu was arrogant, why did he agree for talk only after the strike?
    Does the author know that there was a clause where the doctor can be prosecuted even without a lawyer bieng present?
    Kasab, a terrorist also got a lawyer, but not a doctor?

    DisAgree [10] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Medical should be part of Essential Services ...

    DisAgree [10] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Government medical services are already under ESMA.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ivar, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    Doctor's strike proved one thing again. The present day doctors have left humanity and kindness in lockers when they started practice!

    DisAgree [23] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • sharan, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    You should have gone through"grievance redressal" provision in this KPMEA proposed amendment which brought about a total panic situation for doctors.Doctors need to survive to treat others.Imagine..a petty complaint possibly false..by a disgruntled patient could send the doctor to jail via kangaroo court without even a lawyer for representation for the doctor .How could it be allowed?We in the profession know our patients.Some are never happy with the best of care.One such patient is enough to ruin everything for a doctor.The doctors were left with no choice but this..as talks with Health Minister failed past 8months.Vaidyo Narayano Hari sounds good..but kangaroo court for the " Hari" doesn't.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 18 2017

    In a democratic country every individual has right to express his views. It is their opinion, but need not be always right according to others.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

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