Thursday, January 18, 2018
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doctor patient

There was yet another report about a local nursing home not releasing the body of a dead patient who, as alleged by the relatives, had not been treated properly and passed away owing to neglect.

   Reports—about negligence—are coming with such alarming frequency as to leave the readers benumbed. I have heard many elder people say: ‘If I fall ill don’t take me to hospital.  At home I will at least die in my bed and not on the roadside where I will be thrown if I complain of acute pain and request the coffee-sipping doctor to attend to me’.
But not all doctors are like that. Some of them are very  good, kind-hearted and, far from being greedy, are helpful to the patients. Then there are doctors like Dr R.N.Mishra who run a charitable clinic as well as a regular healing centre. I wanted to know from him why this indiscipline has spread. At one stage he too was Principal of Medical College if I remember rightly and voluntarily resigned to pursue private practice. He said: ‘Not all medicos are like that. For the follies of a few the whole profession gets defamed’. He told me how he had just returned from a charitable medical camp in the Almora hills. He said: ‘Eminent doctors from all over the country assembled there with their sophisticated apparatus and equipment to perform free operations and conduct free tests and also give free medicine’. Dr Mishra revealed: ‘It is not a camp but an ashram where we all had to sleep on the ground and eat simple food’. Dr Mishra was accompanied by his wife Dr Veena Mishra. He said: ‘These camps are held twice a year for four days each and I never miss them’.
I recall in the distant past doctors were more human and less professional. When I think of Dr S.K.Mukherjee I cannot help recalling how he never sent a patient for costly tests. He would feel the pulse and give the medicine which would usually be effective. Dr J.B.Banerjee was another doctor who would sit and chat with his patients, cheer them up and observe them  keenly at the same time to study their nature and temperament. That way his diagnoses would be correct. Dr Anilesh Mukherji was another old timer who would take keen interest in a patient and make him realise that he should not be casual with his ailment. Dr S.K.Bhattacharya  gives mixtures even today. He just does not recommend a tonic. Dr Ramesh was as good a doctor as a human being. And among the younger lot I found late Dr Ohri  quite sensitive to the cries of the patient. Among lady doctors how can we forget Dr Grace Edwards Brar ! She had the modern touch in her. Then there was the legendary (late)Dr V.Samant,  (late)Dr Asthelaker and those still taking care of the patients in a humane way include Dr Bashir, Dr Krishna Mukherjee, Dr Shahida Hashmat. I am naming those whom I have seen at work. There are several others who are doing an excellent job. That is why I am inclined to agree with Dr R.N.Mishra that there are many, many good doctors too who work without shouting at  their patients or fleecing them. But the pressures of the day are also a one too many. Let us make an allowance for that and we should not just think of a few exceptions who give a bad name to the profession  and who get publicity quite out of proportion to their small number.

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