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Curing a mutual distrust

The present day society of our state has truly caught up with the obsession for instant gratification as had the rest of the world. And while it might act as a catalyst to speed up things and spurs development, yet a darker facet of this compulsion is also emerging and has indeed manifested in the society in more ways than one, the most prominent and troubling being the increasing instances of altercations and accusations of negligence and indifference on the medics by the society. Such unwanted and unfortunate developments have even spawned the trend of forming of Joint Action Committees or JAC as is commonly known, to highlight and broadcast cases with even the faintest hint of foul play by the doctors or the administration in a hospital, so much so that every single case of unsuccessful treatment resulting in the death or deformation to a patient is at risk of being attributed to the very same allegations. While the frustrations and the sense of loss for the near and dear ones of the unfortunate patients are understandable, what in incomprehensible is the increasing instances of putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the doctors, over and above the acts of vandalism. And now, things have gone to such unthinkable extent as to deposit corpses at the houses of doctors perceived to be responsible. Without going into the legalities of the matter which, for obvious reasons should be left to the competent ones, it is high time we all sit back and give it a real serious thought, without prejudice or assumptions, on the unfortunate scenario unfolding in our society, which, if left to fester, would surely result in a total breakdown of the society and even its extinction. First off, doctors are under more pressure than ever to deliver, notwithstanding the circumstances under which they operate. The public has become aware of the developments and breakthroughs made in the field of medicine and want the same kind of attention, facilities and procedures to be followed. These very contrasting and often conflicting situations have put a strain on the relationship between the medical fraternity and the expectant public. Meanwhile, more and more private hospitals are coming up and are flourishing while the Government-run ones are increasingly finding it hard to maintain any semblance of order or efficiency which ultimately put undue pressure on the doctors who are forced to practice with increasing constraints. The only rational solution would be to streamline and, if necessary, to overhaul the present system being followed in these hospitals so that every part of the system are given room to perform to their optimum without unnecessary distractions. The practicing doctors must be made to feel safe and secure with necessary equipments made available as and when they are needed, and for that, the management needs to take up radical steps and be prepared to understand the concerns of the doctors and other medical staffs and be ready to address these issues. The Government have a crucial role to play by modernizing and upgrading every district hospitals and Public Health Centres to ease congestion at the few functioning government hospitals which are still sought by a majority of the public without the means to afford private hospitals despite the obvious benefits of better care and facilities. A fair and speedy investigation into every allegation that merits a review will also go a long way in easing the distrust being felt by both the medical fraternity and the public. Meanwhile, the public needs to maintain their common sense and refrain themselves from turning feral at the slightest hint of foul play to enable the authorities to take proper course of action. Any other reaction will prove detrimental and unfortunate for everyone.

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