“A bitter pill to swallow”
I am a vital part of the healthcare system of America and we often blame the system for so many things and rightly so! Talking about the Medicare coverage gap, deductibles and coinsurances, restrictions of choices of doctors, access of primary care and the inflated costs of medical care as well as medications- am I right?May be missed a few other things! But when I experienced the healthcare in the world’s biggest democracy, I was so shocked and frustrated! Yes I am talking about Indian healthcare system. Today’s blog will discuss only about lack of empathy by some doctors and not cover the entire healthcare system.
Till a couple decades ago we used to hear in the news about kidneys being robbed. But in today’s age , for me to hear that needles are being reused on several patients in highly reputed hospitals is quite shocking.
An elderly woman,who is a patient of COPD, diabetes and Congestive heart failure got contracted with influenza. She went to a doctor who also confirmed FLU on basis on signs and symptoms but he decided not to prescribe her anything. Two days later , she was rushed to ER. Her FLU got worse, complicated her COPD and her Oxygen saturation got so low that she was breathless. Don’t ask me what happened in the hospital (that’s another story for another day) but the woman is fine now!
A Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patient:
For me, as a healthcare provider or as a pharmacist, it’s so vital that COPD patients must have an inhaler of corticosteroid/bronchodilator and an inhaler of short acting bronchodilator. But I guess, some doctors on India do not think so! I have researched the medical standards and protocols of Indian medical care and they too run parallel with the protocols in US. So what are these doctors doing? Shame on their medical practice! And what about the doctor who didn’t prescribe Tamiflu in the first place, waited for the patient to get critical and be hospitalized and then eventually administer Tamiflu for Influenza! Is this intentional or ignorance? If intentional, then I am not shy of calling it greed or corruption.
Duplicate medications from different manufacturers:
So this is another chapter of the “chapter doctors”. One will write Nodosis and other will write Sobisis- both are different brands for sodium bicarbonate. The funny part is that the first doctor referred the second one and yet both prescribe their own brands knowing that the patient already has the other one! This is a white collar loot! They get cuts from Pharma and pharmacies for prescribing their brands besides getting the referral cuts from the original doctor (that used to be a staggering 40%!). Imagine how can poor and low middle class people tackle these! A recent example that came to my attention was Septa Q 10(Co Q 10). It costs Rs 5000 odd for 50 pills whereas there are so many other generics of this supplement ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 for 60 capsules. Even in US, which is thought of being the most expensive country for medicines, it costs about $15 for a bottle of 60 capsules which is equivalent to be about Rs 1000 in Indian currency. Doctors need to be empathetic with patients’ socioeconomic statuses. Please stop being self centered, arrogant and careless.
India- a country known for medical tourism! A lot to do with a great leader in place!
India, known for all of its good reputation, is a known global medical tourism spot for various reasons. India has produced world renowned doctors, researchers, procedures and treatments. I am proud to see so many Indian doctors doing so well in US and other countries. They have a strong work ethic and very pragmatic in their approach which I think makes them great Practitioners. Above all, the cost of treatments, surgeries and procedures is so affordable for people in western world that they often are willing to opt to go to Indian hospitals. Indian 5-star hospitals are so inexpensive as compared to a regular hospital in western world especially to people who have no health insurance.
Today, India has got such a great leader who has brought such dramatic changes in a matter of few years. Today, corruption is being brought under control. Remember it’s a country of 1.3 billion people, so you cannot eradicate corruption right away. It will take another decade of Modi administration to have a good control on corruption but I can definitely feel that it’s a lot better than what it used to be in 6 decades of independent India. Mr Modi has been instrumental in optimizing Indian healthcare in several ways. Poor people have got most incentives. They can get their treatments for free! This is a dream come true because for a country to be a successful entity, the poor people must be given the first consideration.
So, coming back to our discussion of our so-called doctors, it’s so important that why realize their role in this modern India and forget their traditional ways of practicing medicine. India cannot tolerate a black sheep or gamble at stake it’s reputation of being a global medical tourist spot, because of such careless and arrogant doctors. Do not make us ashamed but make us feel proud! This is coming straight from the heart of an NRI (non-resident Indian). “Vande Materam and I will continue swallowing these bitter pills till I get some sweet ones.”